Democrat Terry McAuliffe has opened up a 12-point lead over Republican Ken Cuccinelli in the Virginia governor’s race, according to a new Washington Post poll.
McAuliffe is at 51 percent, with Cuccinelli at 39 percent and Libertarian Robert Sarvis at 8 percent.
Of note is a poll internal showing that a decline in numbers for Sarvis would actually benefit McAuliffe, not Cuccinelli. Fifty-three percent of Sarvis supporters say they would vote for McAuliffe, to 42 percent who would vote for Cuccinelli.
This would seem to suggest that a door is closing to a Cuccinelli comeback. Another is the so-called enthusiasm gap, which is also trending in favor of McAuliffe – 84 percent of McAuliffe supporters are definitely planning to vote on Election Day, to 74 percent of Cuccinelli voters.
Another fun note in the poll internals – 34 percent of McAuliffe supporters say they plan to vote for him, while 64 percent say their vote is more against Cuccinelli, while 50 percent of the Cuccinelli base is voting for him, to 44 percent saying their vote is against McAuliffe.
Cuccinelli, clearly, faces the most uphill of uphill battles as the campaign heads into its final week. The McAuliffe camp, for its part, isn’t planning to let up.
“While mainstream Virginians are overwhelmingly siding with Terry McAuliffe’s focus on jobs and education, the Tea Party is still strong and will turn out for Cuccinelli on Election Day,” said McAuliffe spokesperson Josh Schwerin.
“We’re working hard every day to ensure that voters understand the stakes in the election and have a plan to vote. We’re confident that, on Election Day, mainstream Virginians from both parties backing Terry will overcome the narrow but fervent group of Tea Party activists backing Cuccinelli.”