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Shutdown May Spur Democratic Votes for Governor - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Shutdown May Spur Democratic Votes for Governor

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The shutdown is making a visible mark in the race for governor, as new poll numbers show Democrat Terry McAuliffe maintaining a modest lead over Republican Ken Cuccinelli.

Three polls conducted over the past week or so tell similar stories. Polls from POLITICO, Roanoke College, and Christopher Newport University put McAuliffe up between 5 and 10 percent over Cuccinelli. Now, as the federal government shutdown continues in its second week, it looks like it could help shape the outcome of this race.

Polls suggest, while many blame both sides in Washington, more Americans are blaming congressional Republicans for the shutdown compared with the president and Democrats. And this close to Election Day, that's bad news for Cuccinelli.

"Given Virginia's proximity to Washington, and the fact that many Virginia residents are being directly affected by the shutdown, I can't...it's very difficult to see it doing anything but helping McAuliffe," said Geoff Skelley, political analyst at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

The polls also show Libertarian Robert Sarvis hanging on to about 8 to 12 percent of likely voters heading into the final stretch. That's something that could also weigh on Cuccinelli, if Sarvis manages to hang on to voters who might normally vote for the Republican.

Election Day is exactly four weeks away on November 5.

Statement from the Cuccinelli campaign:

"We believe this race remains very close. With each passing day, Ken Cuccinelli's candidacy is gaining momentum on the ground as more and more voters are learning that he is the only serious candidate in this race with credible plans to create 58,000 jobs and ensure that every Virginia child has the opportunity to obtain a quality education." - Anna Nix, Cuccinelli Campaign Spokeswoman

Statement from the McAuliffe campaign:

"Ken Cuccinelli's event with Ted Cruz reinforced what many voters already knew: Cuccinelli cares more about his reputation with the Tea Party than Virginia jobs impacted by the shutdown," said McAuliffe spokesperson Josh Schwerin. "The more voters learn, the more they side with Terry's bipartisan focus on jobs and against Cuccinelli's divisive focus on Tea Party priorities." - Josh Schwerin, McAuliffe Campaign Spokesman

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