The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

State attorney general and Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli is slipping further behind Democrat Terry McAuliffe in the Virginia gubernatorial race, according to a new poll.

An NBC4/NBC News/Marist poll released late Thursday finds McAuliffe leading Cuccinelli 46 percent to 38 percent. That lead is 3 points wider than the 43 to 38 percent lead that McAuliffe held a month ago, before the government shutdown.

The shutdown put Cuccinelli, a well-known Tea Party ally, at a major disadvantage in a state where hundreds of thousands of federal workers were furloughed — 54 percent of Virginia voters blame Republicans for the crisis, according to the poll.

Of the surveyed voters, 38 percent say the shutdown will have a major impact on their vote, while 21 percent say it will have a “minor” impact. Among voters who said the shutdown will have a major impact, McAuliffe leads Cuccinelli 55 percent to 27 percent. McAuliffe is also favored, by 52 percent to 33 percent, by Virginians who say it will have a minor impact on their vote. Cuccinelli leads those who feel “the government shutdown is not an issue” by 49 percent to 36 percent.

Since the government shutdown, Cuccinelli has tried to distance himself from the Tea Party. But after attending a dinner at which Tea Party hero and shutdown leader Ted Cruz (R-TX) served as keynote speaker, the Republican found it a very difficult task.

McAuliffe criticized Cuccinelli for not using the dinner to “stand up for Virginia jobs, to tell the Texas senator [Cruz] to stop hurting Virginia’s economy.”

The Republican candidate claimed that he “urged” Cruz to back off the shutdown, and said he would not have “handled the federal budget the same way.”

Still, he cannot shake the Tea Party ties that are bringing him down. Cuccinelli is now viewed negatively by 54 percent of voters, up 5 points from a month ago. McAuliffe’s negative rating is also up 7 points from last month, at 43 percent – no surprise in a race defined by nasty and harsh attacks from both sides.

“When you have a majority viewing you negatively, it’s hard to win an election. It’s not that McAuliffe has closed the deal, it’s that he’s the lesser of two evils,” says Barbara Carvalho, who helped conduct the poll.

The poll, conducted from October 13-15, surveyed 1,082 registered voters (with a margin of error +/- 3 percent) and 596 likely voters (with a margin of error +/- 4 percent).

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr


Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

By Jenna Zucker and Gabriella Borter

BUFFALO, N.Y. (Reuters) -A white teenager who killed 10 people in a racist attack at a western New York grocery store in a Black neighborhood had been taken into custody last year and given a mental health evaluation after making a threat at his high school, authorities said.

Keep reading... Show less

The privilege of beholding the corals of Belize, the second largest reef system on earth, is a complete marvel that can never be taken for granted. The school of nine squid in perfect alignment that stared at us like transparent sentinels ,the green barracuda that floated as if in suspended animation, looking for prey. Those moments of utter awe were soul transformative not only for a child, but also for parents nurturing a young human to the ultimate reason to exist on this earth, to care for life.

Over the next few years, a battle was waged between environmentalists and those who saw dollars in the form of oil extraction in the reef. Thankfully on December 1, 2015, right after the Cop21 Paris Climate Accord, Belize made the tremendous decision to ban drilling outright -- and is working hard to restore coral. The same cannot be said for many other fragile parts of the world particularly the warming Arctic, where Russia has a near stranglehold of more than half the Arctic Ocean.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ }}