Emerson College poll: McAuliffe leads Cuccinelli by 10

terry mcauliffe2According to a new poll from the on College Polling Society, Terry McAuliffe (D) has opened up a double -digit lead over Ken Cuccinelli (R), 45% to 35% in the Virginia Governor’s race, with Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis at 10% and 11% of voters undecided.

The Emerson College Polling Society survey was conducted August 23 through the 28, with 653 registered voters at a 3.8% margin of error.

When voters were asked who they thought would win, 46% said McAuliffe and 30% said Cuccinelli. This expectation question is typically a strong indicator of electoral success because it gauges what friends and relatives of voters are thinking.

It appears the voters of Virginia are not enamored with either of the candidates as both McCauliffe and Cuccinelli have a 31% favorable rating while Cuccinelli carries a 53% unfavorable rating and McAuliffe has a 43% unfavorable rating.

Pocketbook issues of jobs and taxes are the most important to 47% of voters with 17% saying healthcare was most important. No other issue received 8% or more support. Gay marriage is supported by 38% of respondents and opposed by 48% with 14% undecided on the issue.

Despite 54% of respondents saying the country was headed in the wrong direction, compared to 33% who said it was headed in the right direction, President Obama has a 49% favorability rating (47% unfavorable). This might be creating a Presidential coattail effect helping the democrat candidate McAuliffe, as compared to Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell who has a 39% favorability rating.

Thirty-six percent (36%) support prosecuting Gov. McDonnel for the “gift scandal” while 41% of voters oppose such action. Twenty-three percent (23%) were undecided. McAuliffe is winning 42% of the Independent vote with Cuccinelli at 30%, Sarvis at 17% and 11% Undecided.

McAuliffe is winning the youth vote (48%-29%) and the 55-74 age bracket (52%-28%), whereas Cuccinelli is statistically tied amongst both 35-54 year olds (40%-39%) and those over 75 (42%-38%). McAuliffe is winning the minority vote among Blacks (68% to 16%), Hispanics (64% to 27%) and Asians (60% to 20%). Cuccinelli holds a slim 40%-39% among White voters.It appears McAuliffe is using the same regional strategy as President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign with a 55%-30% lead in the northern parts of the state, and winning the southeast region 44%-34%. The southwest, which is a firewall region for Cuccinelli, has him tied with McAuliffe at 38%

Data was collected on August 23-August 28, 2013 using an automated data collections system. The Virginia sample consisted of 653 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.8% at a 95% confident level. The full survey and results are available at the ECPS’s website: www.emersoncollegepollingsociety.com.

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