- Texas man arrested for powder-letter hoax
- Islamic State opens ‘marriage bureau’ for single jihadists
- Drone almost blocks California firefighting planes
- Tornado rips off roofs, downs trees near Boston
- GOP: Environmental rules keeping agents from accessing border
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia’s gay marriage ban
- White House says Russia ‘losing’ war in Ukraine
- Hamas turns to North Korea for weapons deal, Iran for money
- Syrian casualties surge as jihadis consolidate
Virginians don’t like their candidates for governor
Question of the Day
More Virginia voters by a wide margin say they will vote for gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe or Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II than say they like them, according to poll results released Wednesday amid an uncharacteristically toxic campaign.
Mr. McAuliffe, a former Democratic National Committee chairman, claimed a 48 percent to 42 percent lead over Mr. Cuccinelli, the state’s Republican attorney general, in the Quinnipiac University survey. But just 34 percent of respondents said they view the Democrat favorably while only 35 percent said the same of the Republican.
The results provide a contrast to recent gubernatorial contests in the genteel Old Dominion in which candidates from both parties had favorability ratings far above their poll numbers at this stage in the race.
“The campaign has been light on issues and big on personalities, and it is in the area of personal characteristics that McAuliffe has a small edge,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
The poll, conducted Aug. 14-19 of 1,129 likely voters, is still among the rare survey to show either candidate with a lead significantly outside the margin of error. It was the first Quinnipiac poll of Virginia’s 2013 campaign season to measure likely voters as opposed to registered voters and carried a margin of error of 2.9 percent.
Thirty percent of respondents in the poll were self-identified Democrats, compared with 23 percent who said they were Republicans and 39 percent who told pollsters they were independents.
The party breakdown appears to more closely mirror exit polls during presidential election years in 2012 and 2008 — when Virginia voters turned out in historic proportions to elect Democrat Barack Obama — than it does 2009, when the Republican Bob McDonnell won the governor’s mansion with more modest participation at the polls.
The survey was conducted after a contentious first face-to-face debate July 22 and as scandals involving each candidate seem to be escalating.
Mr. Brown said the ongoing scandal involving wealthy businessman Jonnie R. Williams Sr. and gifts and loans he has given to Virginia’s first family also played a part in the numbers.
“It seems obvious that Gov. Bob McDonnell’s political troubles are hurting fellow Republican Cuccinelli,” he said. “Guilt by association may not be fair, but it sure is politically powerful. Trust matters, and at this point neither man is doing all that well in that category.”
Despite the historically fierce independence of Virginia’s electorate — the governor has been chosen from the opposite party as the president since 1977 — the contest ultimately might be fought not at the center of the spectrum among independent and moderate voters but on the edges, where each campaign will work to turn out the unenthusiastic members of its base.
Perhaps as a result, a daily — and sometimes hourly — barrage of attacks has not relented this time.
Mr. Cuccinelli forgot to disclose some of the gifts, but an independent prosecutor’s report said he did not violate any state laws.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
David Sherfinski covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at email@example.com.
- Wilder, Cuccinelli named as possible witnesses in McDonnell trial
- Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's trial to test definitions of political corruption
- Half can't name political party of their member of Congress, poll finds
- Mich. congressman returns Commerce award after group endorses opponent
- Rep. Henry Cuellar on border crisis: 'Playing defense on the one-yard line'
Latest Blog Entries
- Dick Cheney: Hillary Clinton 'clearly bears responsibility' on Benghazi
- Holder vows to press ahead on gun control fight
- Seven of 10 prefer that Obama work with Congress, not go around it: Poll
- Schumer: Tea party hasn't let Obama put his policies into effect
- GOP official: Black not running for Wolf's House seat
TWT Video Picks
By Richard Rahn
Treaty would let tyrants peer into Americans' financial information
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Babson College, BYU win top spots in Money magazine's college rankings
- Iraqi Christians rally at White House: 'Obama, Obama, where are you?'
- Tennessee Gov. Haslam slams White House for secret dump of illegals in his state
- Romney would win popular vote in rematch against Obama: CNN poll
- White House defends Kerry failure to broker Middle East cease-fire
- D.C. plans to seek stay of order striking down ban on handguns in public
- Islamic State opens 'marriage bureau' for single jihadists
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq