Home 2017 Races CNU Tracking Poll: “Northam leads Gillespie, 48%-44%, as Va. race tightens”

CNU Tracking Poll: “Northam leads Gillespie, 48%-44%, as Va. race tightens”

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The Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University shows a tight race for governor of Virginia with 21 days to go…

Northam leads Gillespie, 48%-44%, as Va. race tightens

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Democrat Ralph Northam’s lead over Republican Ed Gillespie has narrowed in the contest to be Virginia’s next governor, according to a tracking poll released today by the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University. Northam, now lieutenant governor, is the choice of 48% of the likely voters surveyed, while former Republican National Committee Chair Gillespie is the choice of 44%.

Libertarian Cliff Hyra polled at 3%, with 5% undecided. The survey’s margin of error is +/- 4.2%.

In the Wason Center’s benchmark poll, released September 25, Northam’s lead stood at 6% (47% to 41%). It grew to 7% (49% to 42%) in the first tracking poll, released October 9. The current survey is the first in the Wason Center’s tracking series in which Northam’s share shrank as Gillespie’s increased. It is also the first in the series in which Northam’s lead is within the survey’s margin of error.

“With even a weak third-party candidate on the ballot, the winner may not cross the 50% mark,” said Rachel Bitecofer, assistant director of the Wason Center. “But there’s plenty of room and time left for Northam to close the deal or for Gillespie to close the gap.”

This poll did not assess the races for lieutenant governor or attorney general, but those will be included in the Wason Center’s two remaining tracking surveys before Election Day, Nov. 7.