NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WDBJ/Wason Center Release) - Most Virginia voters are undecided about their political choices for the 2021 state election, but some key contests are emerging as Republicans and Democrats begin to sort out their party’s nominations for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.
This according to a survey released Friday, February 19, by the Wason Center for Civic Leadership at Christopher Newport University.
In the Democratic primary for governor, former-Governor Terry McAuliffe leads among Democratic voters with 26%, according to the poll, followed by Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (12%), former Prince William Delegate Jennifer Carrol Foy and Richmond Senator Jennifer McClellan at 4% each, and Manassas Delegate Lee Carter (1%). Almost half of Democratic voters are undecided (49%).
“New Democratic faces and priorities have emerged since Terry McAuliffe was governor,” Wason Center Academic Director Dr. Quentin Kidd said. “He opens with a head start, but he’s a long way from closing the deal.”
Vying for the top of the Republican ticket, Chesterfield Senator Amanda Chase leads a crowded field with 17%, followed by former-Virginia House Speaker Kirk Cox (10%) and entrepreneur Pete Snyder (6%). A majority of Republicans (55%) are also undecided.
“The underlying friction between Chase’s fervent Trumpism and Cox’s Reagan Republican credentials could crack the party and open the door for Snyder or another contender,” said Wason Center Research Director Dr. Rebecca Bromley-Trujillo.
Highlights of other nominating contests, according to Wason:
- No Democratic candidate in the crowded field for lieutenant governor has made a significant impression on voters, with almost four out of five Democrats undecided (78%).
- Virginia Beach Del. Glenn Davis (8%) leads the field for the Republican lieutenant governor nomination, but most Republican voters are also undecided (71%).
- Seeking the Democratic nomination to a third term, Attorney General Mark Herring (42%) holds a lead over Norfolk Del. Jerrauld “Jay” Jones (3%), but half of Democrats remain undecided (50%).
- Virginia Beach lawyer Chuck Smith (10%) leads the race for the Republican attorney general nomination, but two-thirds of Republican voters are undecided (68%).
The results of this survey are based on interviews of 1,005 Virginia registered voters, conducted January 31-February 14, 2021, according to Wason. The margin of error for the whole survey is 3.4%.