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SOURCE Roanoke College
ROANOKE, Va., Sept. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Democrat Terry McAuliffe holds a statistically insignificant lead over Republican Ken Cuccinelli (35%-33%), while 22 percent of likely voters in Virginia remain undecided in the 2013 gubernatorial election, according to The Roanoke College Poll. Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis claimed 8 percent of respondents.
The Roanoke College Poll interviewed 874 likely voters in Virginia between September 9 and September 15 and has a margin of error of +3.3 percent.
In the down-ticket races, Democrat Ralph Northam narrowly leads Republican E. W. Jackson for lieutenant governor (Northam-34%, Jackson-30%, Undecided-33%), and Democrat Mark Herring and Republican Mark Obenshain are in a statistical dead-heat for Attorney General (Herring-33%, Obenshain-31%, Undecided-34%).
Both gubernatorial candidates are "underwater" in terms of favorable/unfavorable ratings (Cuccinelli-28% favorable, 42% unfavorable; McAuliffe-27% favorable, 31% unfavorable).
"Voters continue to learn more about the candidates, but, in this case, familiarity appears to be breeding contempt," said Dr. Harry Wilson, director of the Roanoke College Institute for Policy and Opinion Research. "Both candidates are now viewed in an unfavorable light. That is particularly true of Ken Cuccinelli."
"In an election that will probably come down to who is better at turning out their supporters, Cuccinelli seems to be motivating people on both sides. Likely McAuliffe voters are as motivated to stop Cuccinelli as they are to elect their candidate. When we asked voters to play word association, neither candidate was characterized in a positive way. When 'dishonest' is the most common response to each, you know the candidates are not generally popular. McAuliffe's position has certainly improved since the July Roanoke College Poll, but there are still many likely voters who are undecided."
The sample of 874 likely voters included both land lines and cell phones and was created so that all cell phone and residential telephone numbers, including unlisted numbers, had a known chance of inclusion. Cell phones constituted 37 percent of the completed interviews.
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