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Sarvis Optimistic in Governor's Race Despite Disadvantages - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Sarvis Optimistic in Governor's Race Despite Disadvantages

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Terry McAuliffe and Ken Cuccinelli won't be the only names you see on the ballot two months from now. Friday, we introduce you to Virginia's dark-horse candidate for governor, Libertarian nominee Robert Sarvis.

The most recent polling from Quinnipiac University shows many voters haven't heard enough about the candidates in this year's race for governor.

But if that's true for the major party candidates, it's especially true for Sarvis.

"September and October is when people really start paying attention. So a lot of people are going to learn more about me over the next two months and I think they'll like what they see," said Sarvis.

But Sarvis is facing a steep uphill battle. His voice has been missing from debates and forums, and he lacks the fundraising advantages of his major party opponents. But despite a laundry list of issues for the Northern Virginia native, he maintains a sense of optimism. 

"Forty percent of Virginians want another candidate, and this is the perfect time when the two major parties have both nominated candidates who exemplify exactly what's wrong with their respective parties," said Sarvis.

Sticking to Libertarian principles, Sarvis says he wants to promote open markets and limited government in the commonwealth.

"The government is there to preserve our freedom...to preserve our economic freedom and personal liberty," said Sarvis.

Recent poll numbers show Sarvis garnering between 9 and 10 percent of likely voters. Not enough to win, but it could be enough to shake things up.

"Our numbers are going in the right direction, and I think that just shows as people learn more about my campaign that they like what they hear," said Sarvis.

But despite those poll numbers, analysts at UVA's Center for Politics say Sarvis' prospects aren't bright. They predict he'll win between 2 and 3 percent of the vote in November.

Sarvis could still be a liability in the race, especially for Republican Ken Cuccinelli. Analysts say that is largely because Libertarian-leaning voters, who otherwise would have voted Republican, will have their own candidate. They also say the Libertarian could draw some moderate Republican votes away from Cuccinelli. 

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