The latest favorability poll shows Democrat Terry McAuliffe is leading Republican Ken Cuccinelli by five points, 42 percent to 37 percent, in the race to become Virginia's next governor.
However, neither candidate is uniformly popular or well-known within their party, according to the survey from the Democrat-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP). McAuliffe’s favorability is 29 percent favorable to 33 percent unfavorable while 32 percent of voters hold a positive opinion of Cuccinelli, and 44 percent hold a negative opinion of him.
"The governor’s race is shaping up exactly as expected -- voters don’t care for either Ken Cuccinelli or Terry McAuliffe,” said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling. “But at this point they have a bigger problem with Cuccinelli than they do with McAuliffe.”
In the lieutenant governor’s race, Republican E.W. Jackson would be beat by both Democratic primary candidates, Aneesh Chopra (36-29 percent) and Ralph Northam (35-29 percent.)
Also of interest, 22 percent of voters think Jackson’s positions are too conservative for Virginia, 33 percent think they are about right and 38 percent are unsure. Seven percent of voters said they believed his positions were too liberal.
PPP surveyed 672 Virginia voters with a margin of error of 3.8 percent.
IN OTHER NEWS:
* Metro ridership continues to drop—down 3.6 percent through March—as more people than ever are flocking to other modes of public transit, such as bike share and local commuter trains. (Washington Examiner)
Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia local news, events and information
* To lure businesses to the St. Elizabeths’ campus in Southeast Washington, Mayor Gray announced that the District would be offering space on a “pop-up” basis for $1. The city plans to spend $113.5 million on the site's infrastructure through 2016. (Washington Examiner)
* A judge dismissed Eric Payne’s defamation lawsuit against the District government and Chief Financial Officer Natwar Gandhi. He is still suing them for allegedly firing for him over lottery contract whistleblowing. (Washington City Paper)
* D.C.’s chief librarian, Ginnie Cooper, who oversaw a $153 million remaking of the District’s public library system, announced Wednesday that she would be retiring before the end of the year. (Washington Post)
* Gov. Bob McDonnell will automatically restore nonviolent felons' civil rights on an individual basis by eliminating the application process in the final year of his term. (News4)
* Gov. O’Malley tapped former Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith as head of the state’s Department of Transportation. (AP)