News4's Northern Virginia Bureau covers the races

Poll: McAuliffe Continues to Lead Cuccinelli

Ten percent of those polled support Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Washington Post
    MCLEAN, VA - SEPTEMBER 25: Virginia gubernatorial candidates Terry McAuliffe ( D ) and Ken Cuccinelli ( R ) debate in McLean, VA on September 25, 2013. The focus of the debate centered on the economy and other critical issues facing Virginia. (Photo by Linda Davidson / The Washington Post)

    Support for those running in Virginia's governor's race barely wavered despite the 16-day government shutdown, a new Quinnipiac University poll found.

    While nearly half of those surveyed felt the government shutdown hurt the commonwealth "a great deal," support for Democrat Terry McAuliffe dropped just one point. Forty-six percent of the 1,086 likely voters polled favored McAuliffe to Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's 39 percent.

    Just two weeks ago, another Quinnipiac poll found voters favored McAuliffe by 47 percent.

    Wednesday's poll also represents a now double-digit show of support for Sarvis, a two point increase for the Libertarian candidate, who now stands at 10 percent. 

    "The big question about Sarvis is whether his voters will stick with him to the end, or wind up voting for McAuliffe or Republican State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli,” Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling institute.

    McAuliffe continues to have a wide margin among female voters, who favored him to Cuccinelli 49 to 35 percent, with 10 percent for Sarvis. 

    Despite the marginal support, voters don't think much of the candidates in the running. Pollers gave McAuliffe a negative 39 – 43 percent favorability while Cuccinelli got a negative 38 – 52 percent score. Seventy-eight percent of those polled feel like they don't know enough about Sarvis to form an opinion.

    That sentiment was echoed this week when the Richmond Times-Dispatch announced that it wouldn't endorse any gubernatorial candidates.

    In an article published in Sunday's paper, the Times-Dispatch said,"The major-party candidates have earned the citizenry’s derision. The third-party alternative has run a more exemplary race yet does not qualify as a suitable option..."

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