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McAuliffe, Moran neck and neck, Deeds trailing in poll

More than half of the voters likely to participate in the June Democratic Party primary for governor are undecided, and those who are are split for the most part evenly among the three candidates.
Terry McAuliffe and Brian Moran are tied for the lead at 18 percent each in a Public Policy Polling survey released today. Creigh Deeds trails with 11 percent.

Looking inside the numbers, Moran seems to have the early advantage in favorability among voters – with 34 percent of voters saying they have a favorable impression of the former Northern Virginia state delegate and only 10 percent saying they had an unfavorable impression. McAuliffe was at 30 percent favorable and 23 percent unfavorable. Deeds was at 23 percent favorable and 9 percent unfavorable.

“What this poll shows is that the contest for the Democratic nomination is wide open,” said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling. “None of the candidates are that well-known, and there is no clear frontrunner at this point.”

The analysis from PPP includes an interesting view on how the money factor could play into the race. McAuliffe is running quite well in Hampton Roads, pulling the support of 22 percent of voters in that region to 6 percent for Deeds and 5 percent for Moran. The numbers could be significant because none of the three candidates has what could be called a natural base in Hampton Roads, and McAuliffe has already gone on the air with TV ads in the Hampton Roads market.

Moran is doing well at this early stage in Northern Virginia, where he and McAuliffe would seem to have natural bases of support, with the support of 34 percent of NoVa voters to 14 percent for McAuliffe and just 3 percent for Deeds.

Public Policy Polling surveyed 998 likely Virginia Democratic Party primary voters between Jan. 30 and Feb. 1 for this poll. The margin of error for the poll is +/- 3.19 percent.


– Story by Chris Graham

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