Different poll offers different results in Va. governor’s race

Posted at 11:34 AM, May 08, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-08 11:34:34-04

(CNN) — With less than six months before Election Day in Virginia’s gubernatorial race, a new poll indicates the race is still tight.

Democrat Terry McAuliffe has a slight 43%-41% advantage over Republican Ken Cuccinelli among registered voters, according to a new NBC/Marist poll released Wednesday.

When looking at likely voters, however, the race flips with Cuccinelli jumping ahead, 45% to 42%. Both margins fall within the sampling error.

The results mark a change from a Washington Post survey released over the weekend, which showed Cuccinelli ahead by five percentage points among all Virginia voters, 46%-41%.

But among those who say they’re certain to vote in November, Cuccinelli again gets a bigger lead, 51%-41%.

Both polls show that many voters in the commonwealth are unfamiliar with the race. According to the NBC/Marist poll, 44% of those polled say they’ve never heard of McAuliffe, a former Democratic National Committee chairman, while 32% don’t know about Cuccinelli, the state’s attorney general.

Those numbers indicate poll results could change greatly in the coming months, as the candidates begin to pour more money into ads and hold bigger campaign events.

Cuccinelli, who has strong tied to the conservative, tea party base, has 91% support from the Republicans in the commonwealth, as does McAuliffe among Democrats in Virginia. Among independent voters, they each carry 36%.

The NBC/Marist poll was conducted by telephone with 1,095 registered voters. The sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

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