A Rasmussen Reports survey released Monday takes a close look at the Virginia gubernatorial race and reveals that Virginia voters are split almost evenly between the two candidates.
The statewide telephone poll revealed that out of 1,000 Virginia voters surveyed, 44 percent are leaning towards Democrat Terry McAuliffe, and trailing closely behind is Republican Ken Cuccinelli with 41 percent.
Three percent of those surveyed prefer “some other” candidate, and 12 percent are still undecided. These numbers are similar to those in previous polls throughout May.
As early as January, Quinnipiac showed that McAuliffe had a slight 40-39 percent lead over Cuccinelli. Most recently, Public Policy Polling released a poll mirroring Quinnipiac’s results, showing McAuliffe with 42 percent and Cuccinelli with 37 percent.
The 2013 Virginia gubernatorial race has been defined – and some would argue even stained – by McAuliffe’s and Cuccinelli’s nasty campaigns. Both candidates have been on the attack, which, ironically, has helped them to get their names out to voters statewide – something very important, after the Quinnipiac and PPP polls showed that name recognition was an issue for both candidates.
Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, called attention to the fact that although McAuliffe has been leading Cuccinelli in all recent polls, there is a “decided lack of enthusiasm for these two candidates outside their party base.”
The race is so tight that the tide can easily turn, allowing Cuccinelli to take the lead. But for now, in this lesser-of-two-evils race, McAuliffe is holding on to his halo, and his lead.