Terry McAuliffe has a slight lead in a new poll measuring support in the race for the 2009 Democratic Party gubernatorial nomination, but Brian Moran is within the statistical margin of error, and Creigh Deeds is not that far behind.
The poll conducted by Public Policy Polling over the weekend has McAuliffe, a former Democratic National Committee chair, at 21 percent, with Moran, a former state delegate from Northern Virginia, at 19 percent. Deeds, a Bath County state senator, was at 14 percent in the poll, which surveyed 647 likely Democratic Party primary voters and has a margin of error of +- 3.9 percent.
Public Policy Polling’s January survey had McAuliffe and Moran at 18 percent apiece and Deeds at 11 percent.
Scanning through the crosstabs, McAuliffe holds a slight edge over his opponents in favorability – at 31 percent for McAuliffe to 30 percent for Moran and 26 percent for Deeds. McAuliffe also has the highest amount of unfavorable opinion among voters – at 26 percent, to 14 percent for Moran and 10 percent for Deeds.
Perhaps the biggest news in the survey is that undecided still holds the overwhelming lead – with 46 percent of likely primary voters yet to make up their minds.
Seventy-three percent of primary voters are undecided in the race for the lieutenant governor nomination, with Jody Wagner holding a slight lead in the crowded five-candidate Democratic Party field. Wagner, a former Secretary of Finance, was at 9 percent in the poll. Virginia Beach School Board member Pat Edmonson was at 6 percent, with former Mark Warner aide Mike Signer at 5 percent, Richmond-based political consultant Rich Savage at 4 percent and Southwest Virginia energy magnate Jon Bowerbank at 3 percent.
– Story by Chris Graham