- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A poll released Tuesday suggests Democrat Terry McAuliffe has pulled away in the campaign for Virginia governor, opening a 17-point lead against Republican Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II two weeks from Election Day.

The poll, conducted by Rasmussen Reports, has Mr. McAuliffe ahead 50-33 — by far the largest margin of any poll thus far in the race.

The survey of 1,000 likely voters has a 3 percentage point margin of error. It was conducted Sunday, a day after former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton campaigned with Mr. McAuliffe in Falls Church.

The results come after Rasmussen last month had Mr. McAuliffe with a 6 percentage point lead, 44 percent to 38 percent, over Mr. Cuccinelli. That poll was conducted before the two-week federal government shutdown, which other surveys have suggested had a disproportionately negative effect on Republicans.

Politico also reported Tuesday that a survey of early voters gives Mr. McAuliffe a lead ahead of Election Day on Nov. 5. A poll by Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling for the League of Conservation Voters gave Mr. McAuliffe an early 57 percent to 39 percent advantage among those casting ballots ahead of Election Day.

That poll of 724 early voters conducted Oct. 19 and Oct. 20 has a margin of error of 3.6 percentage points.

An average of recent polling results by RealClearPolitics which does not include the Rasmussen results, puts Mr. McAuliffe ahead by 7.4 percentage points.

The Cuccinelli campaign dismissed the results.

“In this race, there has been lots of polling and lots of very bad polling,” spokeswoman Anna Nix said in a statement. “In two weeks, voters will decide.”