Terry McAuliffe Leads Ken Cuccinelli by 7 Points as Va. Voters Blame GOP for Shutdown

Article excerpt

Virginia voters looking for somebody to blame for the government shutdown impacting federal workers in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads have settled on gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, who trails Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe by seven points in a new Christopher Newport University poll.

The school's Judy Ford Wason Center for Public Policy poll, released Tuesday morning, finds that likely voters prefer McAuliffe 46 percent to 39 percent for Cuccinelli. Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis wins 11 percent. Only 4 percent of likely voters are undecided.

Those results, depressing to the Virginia attorney general's camp, are almost identical to the school's last poll conducted a week ago that put Cuccinelli's support at 38 percent, McAuliffe at 47 percent and Sarvis at 8 percent.

The poll indicates that the winner may be elected in three weeks with less than a majority of voters for the first time four decades.

Wason Center Director Quentin Kidd said that concern about the shutdown is "bleeding" support from Cuccinelli, even though only a minority of voters are blaming him.

According to the school's release: "Most voters say neither candidate bears any responsibility for the shutdown, but among the 13 percent who cast blame, far more blame Cuccinelli (47 percent) than McAuliffe (7 percent). Likely voters who are affected by the shutdown or who know someone affected prefer McAuliffe to Cuccinelli, 49 percent to 34 percent."

Kidd said, "The shutdown is definitely motivating some voters against Cuccinelli, who already had a Tea Party problem with Independents and business-minded Republicans. …