Home 2013 races Wason Center Poll: McAuliffe 45%-Cuccinelli 38%

Wason Center Poll: McAuliffe 45%-Cuccinelli 38%


One of the final polls of this (seemingly endless) campaign has Terry McAuliffe ahead by 7 points. More details to follow shortly from the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University in Newport News. Note that 7 points is 1.5 points below the Real Clear Politics average lead of 8.5 points for McAuliffe – could be better, I suppose, but not bad at all; I’ll take it. 🙂

  • McAuliffe holds 7-point lead as Sarvis shaves GOP vote    

    NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Democrat Terry McAuliffe holds a 7-point lead over Republican Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia’s gubernatorial election, according to a poll released today by the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University. With less than a week to Election Day, McAuliffe leads Cuccinelli among likely voters, 45 percent to 38 percent.  

    The Libertarian candidate, Robert Sarvis, maintains a significant share of likely voters: 10 percent — more than two-thirds of whom say they are casting a protest vote against the major-party candidates. Sarvis is particularly shaving the Republican vote: 37 percent of his voters say they would have voted for Cuccinelli if Sarvis were not on the ballot, compared with 17 percent who would have voted for McAuliffe.  

    “The Sarvis voters don’t like either Cuccinelli or McAuliffe, but they look like a net loss for Cuccinelli,” said Quentin Kidd, director of the Wason Center. “The fact that Sarvis continues to poll around 10 percent, coupled with the fact that his supporters are becoming as firm in their decision as the McAuliffe and Cuccinelli voters, suggests that he’s not going to fade.”                                                                

    Women voters are a force behind McAuliffe’s lead, with the Democrat showing a 16-point gender gap advantage, 51 percent to 35 percent. McAuliffe leads 42 percent to 34 percent among Independents, a crucial voting bloc in Virginia. Democrats appear to be standing behind McAuliffe (93 percent), while the Republican vote is fractured: 7 percent of self-identified Republicans say they will vote for McAuliffe and 8 percent say they will vote for Sarvis, with 80 percent for Cuccinelli.

    In the lieutenant governor election, Democrat Ralph Northam has slightly increased his already commanding lead over Republican E.W. Jackson among likely voters, 51 percent to 35 percent. Northam’s lead was 12 points in the Wason Center’s Oct. 15 poll release and 11 points in the Oct. 8 release.

    In the contest for attorney general, Republican Mark Obenshain and Democrat Mark Herring have been in a statistical tie in all three of the Wason Center polls in October. In this poll, Obenshain leads Herring among likely voters, 45 percent to 43 percent, within the survey’s margin of error.  Unlike his ticket-mates, Obenshain shows bipartisan appeal in this survey, drawing McAuliffe, Sarvis and Northam voters from higher on the ballot.  

    “That’s a lot of ballot-switching,” said Kidd. “The Attorney General’s race is the one we’re likely to stay up late for on Election Night.”

    The Wason Center surveyed 1,185 registered Virginia voters, including 1,038 likely voters, Oct. 25-30. The total margin of error is +/- 2.9%; the likely voter margin of error is +/-3.0%.  

  • Q5. (asked of Sarvis voters only) Some people say that they are voting for Robert Sarvis as a form of protest,

    to show dissatisfaction with the other two candidates. How about you, would you say that is the reason you are voting for Sarvis?

    Yes 68

    No 29

    Dkrefused (vol) 3

    Q6. (asked of Sarvis voters only) If Robert Sarvis were not a choice in this election, would you be more likely to:

    Vote for Ken Cuccinelli 37

    Vote for Terry McAuliffe 17

    Not vote at all 38

    Dk/refused (vol) 8

  • Q7. (asked of McAuliffe and Cuccinelli voters only) And how firm is that decision would you say very firm,

    somewhat firm, or not very firm?

    Very firm 77

    Somewhat firm 14

    Not very firm 6

    Dk/refused (vol) 3

  • The Attorney General’s race continues to be the most contested of the three statewide races this year, with Republican Mark Obenshain and Democrat mark Herring locked in a statistical tie in all three Wason Center polls conducted in October. In the latest survey, Obenshain holds a slim 2-point lead over Herring, which is within the poll’s margin of error of +/- 3.0. This is a 1% improvement since our Oct. 15 survey, when Obenshain held a 1-point lead over Herring. Obenshain trailed Herring by 3 points, 45% to 42% in our Oct. 8 survey.

    Obenshain appears to have carved out a different electoral path than his fellow Republicans. He has held the gender gap to a smaller margin (45% of women are for Herring and 39% for Obenshain) than his ticket mates. Additionally, Obenshain is winning the Independent vote by 15%.

    Obenshain also appears to be attracting a bipartisan coalition of likely voters, drawing support from Sarvis and McAuliffe voters in the Governor’s race and Northam voters from the Lieutenant Governor’s race. Of those likely voters who said they planned to vote for Obenshain, 19% also said they planed to vote for McAuliffe or Sarvis and 19% said they planned to vote for Northam.

    “”That’s a lot of ballot switching,” said Kidd. “The Attorney General’s race is the one we are likely to stay up late for on Election Night.”

  • In the race for Lieutenant Governor, Democratic state Senator Ralph Northam continues to outpace Republican E.W. Jackson by a wide margin, 51% to 35%, with 15% undecided. The 16% lead is 4% larger than the 12% Northam held over Jackson in the Wason Center’s Oct. 15 poll. Northam’s lead is built upon an 11% gender gap, and a decisive lead among Independent voters, 48% to 34%.

    “Northam’s lead is solid, and across all demographic groups, and importantly above 50% in the last two Wason Center Polls,” said Kidd. “Jackson’s weakness appears to be his inability to close the deal with members of his own party – losing 18% of

    Republicans to Northam, and with Independents – losing them to Northam by 14%, and with female voters – losing them to Northam by 18%.”

  • Sarvis voters’ choices down-ticket appear very bipartisan. In the Lieutenant Governor’s race, Sarvis voters strongly favor Democrat Ralph Northam over Republican E.W. Jackson, 45% to 29%, with 27% undecided. In the Attorney 4

    General’s race, on the other hand, Sarvis voters strongly support Republican Mark Obenshain over Democrat Mark Herring, 66% to 22%, with 13% undecided.

  • McAuliffe’s lead continues to be carried by a large, 16% gender gap, 51% to 35%. A significant segment (7%) of self-identified Republican voters say they are supporting

    the Democrat, McAuliffe. Independents, a voter bloc crucial to winning in Virginia, favor McAuliffe, 42% to 34%. Geographically, McAuliffe has a commanding lead in vote-heavy Northern Virginia, 52% to 37%, and a sizeable lead in Hampton Roads, 52% to 37%. The two candidates are statistically tied in the Richmond and Southwest/Southside regions of the state.