The Campaign Spot

Cuccinelli Slightly Ahead in Early Virginia Polling

The Virginia electorate doesn’t appear to be paying much attention to the early stages of the gubernatorial race. The candidates weren’t dominating the news, even before our news cycle became filled with horrific bombings, big votes on gun control, ricin mailings, exploding fertilizer plants, and so on.

Yet at some point, the voters will tune in, and they’ll see two candidates who they don’t know terribly well. So the candidate who gets his ads up on television first may end up setting the terms of the race. 

Republican Ken Cuccinelli leads Democrat Terry McAuliffe (34%-29%), but more than one-third (38%) of Virginians are undecided in the 2013 Gubernatorial election, according to The Roanoke College Poll. Looking only at currently registered voters, Cuccinelli’s lead grows slightly (35%-27%).

The Roanoke College Poll interviewed 629 Virginia residents between April 8 and April 14 and has a margin of error of +3.9 percent. 

As was the case in January, both candidates are largely unfamiliar to Virginians. A majority of Virginia residents do not know enough about McAuliffe (61%) to have an opinion about him, and 45 percent don’t have an opinion of Cuccinelli. Each figure is only one percent lower than in January. Cuccinelli has improved his favorable/unfavorable split marginally (26% – 24%), while McAuliffe remains the same (10% – 16%). 

Cuccinelli could paint a very negative portrait of McAuliffe, the GreenTech problems, the state’s concerns about the company, and so on… but he’ll need the resources to do it.

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