New poll shows tight governor’s race, uninformed voters

Posted at 7:20 AM, Feb 20, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-20 13:40:55-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) — Neither candidate seems to have an advantage in Virginia’s upcoming race to replace Governor Bob McDonnell.

According to the latest poll from Qunnipiac University, Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli are in a tight race, whether or not Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, also a Republican, decides to run as an independent candidate.

Should Bolling decide not to run, McAuliffe and Cuccinelli are tied among likely voters at 38 percent each. If Bolling announces his candidacy as an Independent, McAullife’s lead of 34 percent to Cuccinelli’s 31 is percent, is well within the poll’s margin of error.

Bolling is expected to make an announcement next month.

When likely voters were asked about the candidates, most voters say they didn’t know enough to form an opinion.

Cuccinelli leads with the highest favorability rating, but not by much. The Attorney General has a 30-25 percent rating while Terry McAuliffe has a 23-16 percent favorability rating. Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling has a favorability rating of 18-10 percent, while 72 percent say they don’t know enough about him. This comes despite two consecutive terms as Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor.

The current poll also suggests that unless Bolling makes up ground in the polls, he’s more likely to tilt the race in favor of McAuliffe than actually win as an Independent. Bolling would win 10 percent of Republicans and only 5 percent of Democrats if he decides to run.

Governor Bob McDonnell also remains one of the country’s most popular governors. McDonnell has a 53-28 percent job approval with voters. This includes 77-11 percent among Republicans and 55-22 percent among Independents. Not quite half of Democrats disapprove of the Governor’s job at 47-32 percent.