Morning Read: Virginia's Gubernatorial Race Still a Statistical Tie

A new Quinnipiac University poll found the Virginia gubernatorial race is at a statistical tie -- but voters still don’t really know who Ken Cuccinelli or Terry McAuliffe are.

Forty percent of Virginians polled said they would vote for Republican Cuccinelli, while 38 percent said they were in favor of Democrat McAuliffe.

"Neither candidate for governor is that well known to voters, although Cuccinelli has a small edge in that department," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Because of their relatively low profiles at this point, the horse race numbers pretty much reflect a generic Democratic-Republican race."

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Respondents generally viewed Cuccinelli as the candidate with more political experience and McAuliffe as the slightly less ideological of the two.

Another Quinnipiac poll released Thursday morning found that Virginians are sharply divided on whether to expand Medicaid in the state. Forty-five percent of respondents supported the expansion, while forty-three percent opposed it.

The breakdown by party: 73 percent of Democrats support the expansion, while 67 parents of Republicans oppose it. Among voters who identified as independent, 47 percent are against the expansion, while 40 percent are in favor of it.


* Advocates seeking automatic restoration for voting rights for felons in Virginia are asking Gov. Bob McDonnell to issue an executive order. The order would restore voting rights to an estimated 350,000 people who were convicted of felonies and served their time. (Virginian-Pilot)

A D.C. jobs training program that apparently did little more than passing out free energy-efficient light bulbs door to door is under investigation by the Department of Employment Services (Washington City Paper)

* A Maryland bill that would prohibit landlords from discriminating against potential tenants based on their source of income was sent back to a Senate committee on a 23-22 vote after legislators debated for three days over whether landlords should be allowed to exclude those on public assistance. The bill will likely not be passed this session. (Maryland Reporter)

* Two Prince George’s County councilmembers proposed a measure that would create a neighborhood in the St. Barnabas, Beech Road area free of banquet halls, check cashing business and pawn shops. (Washington Examiner)

* District officials selected three firms to receive some of the city’s biggest contracts to provide healthcare to D.C. residents enrolled in Medicaid and other government health programs. Each of the three contracts are worth as much as $668 million a year and will now go to the city council for final approval. (Washington Post)

* A new report says the District lacks a citywide plan for school buildings. (Washington Examiner)

* Terry McAuliffe submitted more than 35,000 signatures to state election officials to qualify for a spot on the gubernatorial ballot. (Virginian-Pilot)

* D.C. Council candidate Pat Mara denies ever lobbying for Exxon Mobil and wins the D.C. Sierra Club endorsement. (WAMU)

* The D.C. Council’s Education Committee voted unanimously Wednesday in favor of the amended truancy bill, which details how and when a student’s unexcused absences would trigger the notification of parents and government intervention. (Washington Post)

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