Two new polls show Democrat Terry McAuliffe maintaining his modest but statistically significant lead over Republican Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II heading into the final full day of campaigning in the Virginia governor’s race.
Mr. McAuliffe has a 7-point lead, 50 percent to 43 percent, in a poll released late Sunday by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, with Libertarian Robert Sarvis taking 4 percent of the vote. He has a 6-point lead, 46 percent to 40 percent, in a poll released Monday by Quinnipiac University, with Mr. Sarvis taking 8 percent of the vote.
Both men are still viewed unfavorably, according to the PPP poll: Mr. McAuliffe has a 36 percent/52 percent favorable/unfavorable split, and Mr. Cuccinelli has a marginally better 39/52 split. But among voters who dislike both candidates, Mr. McAuliffe has a overwhelming 45-point point lead — 61 percent to 15 percent. He also has a 47 percent to 39 percent advantage among independents.
The Quinnipiac survey also shows Mr. Sarvis bleeding more support from Mr. Cuccinelli than from Mr. McAuliffe. Ninety-three percent of Democrats favor Mr. McAuliffe, and 3 percent choose Mr. Sarvis. Meanwhile, 85 percent of Republicans favor Mr. Cuccinelli, with 7 percent opting for Mr. Sarvis.
Independent voters are divided, 40 percent to 40 percent, with 14 percent choosing Mr. Sarvis.
“Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli made the race to become Virginia’s next governor interesting,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “But barring a late surge of Republicans returning to the fold and independents jumping on the GOP train, Terry McAuliffe has a small but steady lead that is formidable entering the final day of the campaign.”
PPP, which uses automated telephone surveys, polled 870 likely voters on Nov. 2 and 3, and the margin of error for the survey is 3.3 percentage points. Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,606 likely voters from Oct. 29 to Nov. 3, and its poll has a margin of error of 2.5 percent points.