THE ROANOKE COLLEGE POLL: McAuliffe holds slim lead over Cuccinelli; down-ticket races also tight

Oct 08, 2013, 09:38 ET from The Roanoke College Poll

ROANOKE, Va., Oct. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Democrat Terry McAuliffe has opened a six-point lead over Republican Ken Cuccinelli (40%-34%), while 16 percent of likely voters in Virginia remain undecided in the 2013 gubernatorial election, according to The Roanoke College Poll. Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis was supported by 9 percent of respondents.

The Roanoke College Poll interviewed 1,046 likely voters in Virginia between September 30 and October 5 and has a margin of error of +3 percent.

In the down-ticket races, Democrat Ralph Northam narrowly leads Republican E. W. Jackson for lieutenant governor (Northam—39%, Jackson—35%, Undecided—26%), and Republican Mark Obenshain holds a statistically insignificant lead over Democrat Mark Herring for attorney general (Obenshain—38%, Herring—35%, Undecided—26%).

"Terry McAuliffe may be solidifying his position as the 'lesser of the evils' in this election," said Dr. Harry Wilson, director of the Institute for Policy and Opinion Research. "Both candidates are still viewed negatively, but that is more true of Ken Cuccinelli.

"Cuccinelli continues to be the lightning rod in the race. Those who say they will vote for him are really voting for him. While McAuliffe's numbers are better in this area, his supporters still tend to say they are voting against Cuccinelli. It will be interesting to see how that plays out with regard to voter turnout, which may be the key to this election.

"Libertarian Robert Sarvis is drawing support from across the political spectrum, although he is more popular among younger voters and those who identify as independents. Attracting 9 percent support with a campaign budget that is, comparatively speaking minuscule, and with little media attention is a testament both to his attractiveness as a candidate and to dissatisfaction with Cuccinelli and McAuliffe."

More information is available on the Roanoke College website at:

SOURCE The Roanoke College Poll