Virginia’s governor race is neck and neck between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, according to a Quinnipiac University survey released Feb. 20.
One poll put McAuliffe and Cuccinelli in a statistical tie at 38 percent of the vote. However, a second poll — one that factored in Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, who could possibly run as an independent candidate — had McAuliffe with 34 percent of the vote, compared to Cuccinelli's 31 percent. Bolling was in a distant third place with 13 percent.
Bolling had previously conceded the Republican nomination to Cuccinelli, but has not yet decided or commented on the possibility of running as an independent candidate.
According to a release detail, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,112 registered voters from Feb. 14-18 using live interviewers who called land lines and cell phones. The poll has a 2.9 percent margin of error.
The poll is very similar to the one done on Jan. 9, which had McAuliffe holding a marginal lead with 40 percent and Cuccinelli at 39 percent. When Bolling was factored in, the Feb. 20 poll mirrored the one done Jan. 9.
The release detail from Quinnipiac University Polling Institute also stated that Cuccinelli has a 30-to-25 percent favorability rating. McAuliffe got a 23-to-16 percent rating, but 60 percent of those surveyed said they don't know enough about him to form an opinion.
In a two-way race, McAuliffe is projected to win Democrats 83-4 percent while Cuccinelli will take Republicans 87-2 percent. Independent voters are predicted to vote 33 percent for Cuccinelli and 29 percent for McAuliffe. As Gov. Bob McDonnell enters the fourth year of his term, he also remains popular with voters.
In a three-way race, Bolling would likely get 10 percent of Republicans, but only 5 percent of Democrat voters.
The different demographics of voters polled were analyzed. Women are expected to choose Democrat with 42–33 percent, while men will vote Republican with 44–34 percent. Cuccinelli is projected to win over the white voters with 47–31 percent, while black voters are predicted to vote for McAuliffe with 64-11 percent.
The state's gubernatorial race will continue to heat up as November elections approach. Virginia law limits governors to one consecutive term, meaning that the current governor, republican Bob McDonnell, will be stepping down when his term ends.
Virginia is the only state to limit governors to one consecutive term.
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