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But 48 percent say they trust Mr. McAuliffe more on energy and the environment, compared wit 35 percent for Mr. Cuccinelli.

Terry McAuliffe’s strategy has been to paint Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli as too conservative to be Virginia’s next governor,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “Today, almost half of Virginia voters agree, more than the 38 percent who say McAuliffe is too liberal.”

The survey of 1,180 likely voters in Virginia was taken Oct. 2-8 and has a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points.

Voters do not register by party in the state, but 32 percent self-identified as Democrats, 27 percent said they were Republicans and 35 percent said they were independents.