10/18: McAuliffe Leads Cuccinelli by 8 Percentage Points in Virginia Governor’s Race

October 18, 2013 by  
Filed under Election 2013, Featured, Politics

In the contest for Virginia governor, Democrat Terry McAuliffe receives the support of 46% of Virginia likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate and those who voted by absentee ballot compared with 38% for his Republican challenger, Ken Cuccinelli.  Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis garners 9% of the vote while 1% backs another candidate.  Seven percent of Virginia likely voters are undecided.

Click Here for Complete October 18th, 2013 Virginia NBC4/NBC News/Marist Poll Release and Tables

“Just when Cuccinelli needed to start closing the gap against McAuliffe, the government shutdown became a huge roadblock,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “The big question is whether or not Cuccinelli can now overcome the damaged GOP brand and his own high negative rating to make the contest more competitive.”

When NBC4/NBC News/Marist last reported this question in September, McAuliffe — 43% — edged Cuccinelli — 38% — among likely voters statewide.  Sarvis had the support of 8% while 1% backed another candidate.  10%, at that time, were undecided.

Key points:

  • Party ID.  A wide partisan divide exists.  Most Democrats who are likely to vote — 88% — support McAuliffe while most Republicans likely to cast a ballot are for Cuccinelli — 83%.  This is little changed from last month when 89% of likely Democratic voters supported McAuliffe, and 83% of likely Republican voters were for Cuccinelli.  Among independent voters who are likely to vote, 41% are for McAuliffe while 33% are for Cuccinelli.  15% support Sarvis.  In September, the contest among independent voters was slightly closer.  36% of independent voters were behind McAuliffe while 34% backed Cuccinelli.  15%, at that time, supported Sarvis.
  • Gender.  A gender gap still exists.  McAuliffe — 52% — leads Cuccinelli — 32% — by double digits among women who are likely to vote.  However, among men who are likely to cast a ballot, Cuccinelli — 44% — edges McAuliffe — 40%.  Last month, McAuliffe — 50% — outpaced Cuccinelli — 32% — among women.  Among men, Cuccinelli — 44% — led McAuliffe — 36% — by eight percentage points.
  • Intensity of Support.  60% of likely voters with a candidate preference for Virginia governor say they strongly support their choice.  32% somewhat support their candidate, and 8% might vote differently.  Only 1% is unsure.  In NBC4/NBC News/Marist’s previous survey, similar proportions held these views.  59% of likely voters with a candidate preference for Virginia governor were firmly committed to their choice while 31% were somewhat behind him.  Nine percent said they might vote differently, and 1% was unsure.  Among Cucinelli’s supporters, 67% strongly support him while 57% of McAuliffe’s backers express a similar level of commitment to him.  In September, 60% of Cuccinelli’s supporters and 59% of McAuliffe’s backers said they would not waver in their commitment to their choice of candidate.

Among registered voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate and those who voted by absentee ballot, McAuliffe still leads Cuccinelli.  44% are for McAuliffe while 36% are for Cuccinelli.  Sarvis has the support of 10% while 1% is for another candidate.  Nine percent are undecided.  In NBC4/NBC News/Marist’s previous poll, 41% of registered voters were for McAuliffe while 35% supported Cuccinelli.  Eight percent backed Sarvis, and 1% supported another candidate.  14%, at the time, were undecided.

How would the contest look without Sarvis?  Among Virginia likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate and those who voted by absentee ballot, 52% support McAuliffe compared with 43% for Cuccinelli.  One percent is behind another candidate, and 4% are undecided.

Table: 2013 Gubernatorial Tossup (Virginia Likely Voters including Leaners and Absentees)

Table: Intensity of Support (Virginia Likely Voters with a Candidate Preference)

Table: 2013 Gubernatorial Tossup (Virginia Registered Voters including Leaners and Absentees)

Table: 2013 Gubernatorial Tossup without Sarvis (Virginia Registered Voters including Leaners and Absentees)

Tarnished Images? Voters Divide over McAuliffe… Cuccinelli with High Negatives 

While 40% of Virginia residents have a positive view of McAuliffe, 39% have an unfavorable impression of him.  21% have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him.  Similar proportions of registered voters share these views.  42% think well of McAuliffe while 41% have a lesser opinion of the candidate.  17% have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him.

Last month, 38% of Virginia residents had a favorable view of McAuliffe.  32% had an unfavorable opinion of him, and a notable 30% had either never heard of him or were unsure how to rate him.  Looking at registered voters, 41% had a positive opinion of McAuliffe while 34% had an unfavorable one.  26% had either never heard of him or were unsure how to rate McAuliffe.

A majority of Virginia residents — 51% — has an unfavorable view of Cuccinelli.  34% have a positive opinion of him, and 15% have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him.  Comparable portions of registered voters have these opinions.  53% of registered voters have a negative view of Cuccinelli while 36% have a positive one.  12% have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him.

In last month’s survey, 45% of adults statewide had an unfavorable opinion of Cuccinelli while 31% had a favorable one.  23%, at that time, had either never heard of Cuccinelli or were unsure how to rate him.  Among registered voters in Virginia, 47% had a lesser impression of Cuccinelli while 34% had a favorable view of him.  19% had either never heard of Cuccinelli or were unsure how to rate him.

Sarvis has become somewhat better-known to Virginians, but a majority — 56% — still has either never heard of Sarvis or is unsure how to rate him.  23% have a favorable opinion of him, and 21% have an unfavorable view of him.  Among registered voters, a similar 55% have either never heard of Sarvis or are unsure how to rate him.  23% of voters have a positive impression of the candidate while 22% have a negative one.

Last month, 66% of Virginia residents had either never heard of Sarvis or were unsure how to rate him.  20% had a favorable view of the candidate while 15% had an unfavorable impression of him.  Among registered voters, 63%, at that time, did not have a clear opinion of Sarvis.  This compares with 21% who thought well of him and 16% who had an unfavorable opinion of the candidate.

Table: McAuliffe Favorability (Virginia Adults)

Table: Cuccinelli Favorability (Virginia Adults)

Table: Sarvis Favorability (Virginia Adults)

Majority Places Responsibility for Shutdown on Republicans 

When it comes to who is mostly to blame for the government shutdown, a majority of Virginia adults — 53% — say the Republicans in Congress are more at fault.  This compares with 29% who put the onus on President Barack Obama.  15% think each is equally to blame while 3% are unsure.

Similar proportions of registered voters in Virginia have these views.  54% say the Republican members in Congress are to blame while 29% think President Obama is mostly responsible for the shutdown.  14% think the Republicans in Congress and the president equally share the blame while 3% are unsure.

By party, 88% of Democrats think the Republicans in Congress are mostly at fault.  This compares with 60% of Republicans who point the finger at President Obama.  17% of Republicans blame the members of their own party in Congress, and one in five Republicans — 20% — says both Obama and the Congressional GOP are to blame.

Tea Party support makes a difference among the GOP.  Among Republicans who are Tea Party supporters, nearly eight in ten — 78% — believe President Obama is to blame.  However, there is little consensus among Republicans who do not support the Tea Party.  While a plurality — 42% — places the responsibility on the president, a notable 28% blame the Republicans in Congress, and 26% fault both the president and the GOP in Congress.

Looking at independent voters, a majority — 54% — puts the onus on the GOP in Congress while 28% say President Obama is mostly to blame for the shutdown.  16% report both are equally responsible.

38% of Virginia registered voters say the government shutdown will have a major impact on their vote for governor while 21% think it will have a minor one.  39% say the shutdown is not an issue at all, and 2% are unsure.

By party, a plurality of Democrats — 44% — says the government shutdown will be a major issue in determining their gubernatorial vote while half of Republicans — 50% — report the shutdown is not an issue at all when it comes to casting their ballot.   But, Tea Party support again matters for Republicans.  A majority of Republicans who support the Tea Party — 55% — says the government shutdown is no issue at all when it comes to their vote.  This compares with a majority of Republicans who are not Tea Party supporters — 56% — who think the shutdown will be either a major or a minor issue when deciding for whom to vote.

Among independent voters, 40% think the shutdown is not an issue when it comes to picking their candidate.  This compares with 37% who say the shutdown is a major issue and 21% who believe it is a minor one.

How many Virginians have been affected by the federal government shutdown?  While 60% have not been impacted, a notable 39% say they or a member of their family have experienced changes to their employment status, services, or benefits.  One percent is unsure.  Identical proportions of registered voters in Virginia say the same.  60% have not been affected by the shutdown while 39% have felt the effects.  One percent of registered voters in Virginia is unsure.

Table: Who is More to Blame for the Government Shutdown (Virginia Adults)

Table: Whether the Government Shutdown is an Issue in Deciding Vote for Governor (Virginia Adults)

Table: Personal Impact of the Federal Government Shutdown (Virginia Adults) 

Damaged Brand?

The Republican Party is viewed negatively by many residents in Virginia.  61% of adults in the state have an unfavorable impression of the party.  32% have a favorable one, and 6% have either never heard of it or are unsure how to rate the Republican Party.  Among registered voters in the state, 62% have a negative view of the GOP while 32% have a positive one.  Five percent have either never heard of the GOP or are unsure how to rate it.

49% of Virginians view the Democratic Party unfavorably while 45% perceive it favorably.  Six percent have either never heard of the Democratic Party or are unsure how to rate it.  Looking at registered voters, 50% have a negative view of the Democratic Party while 45% have a positive one.  Five percent have either never heard of the party or are unsure how to rate it.

Table: Favorability of the Republican Party (Virginia Adults)

Table: Favorability of the Democratic Party (Virginia Adults)

Northam Edges Jackson in Contest for Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor

In the race for lieutenant governor, Democrat Ralph Northam receives the support of 48% of Virginia likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate and those who voted by absentee ballot.  42% support Republican E.W. Jackson, and 1% mentions another candidate.  Nine percent are undecided.

When NBC4/NBC News/Marist reported this question last month, likely voters in Virginia divided.  44% supported Northam while 41% backed Jackson.  One percent was for another candidate, and 13% were undecided.

How strongly are likely voters committed to their choice of candidate for lieutenant governor?  Half of likely voters with a candidate preference — 50% — strongly support their choice.  38% are somewhat committed to their pick, and 12% might vote differently.  Only 1% is unsure.

In September, 46% of likely voters with a candidate preference for lieutenant governor said they were firmly committed to their choice.  41% were somewhat behind their pick, and 11% said they might change their minds before Election Day.  Two percent, at that time, were unsure.

Northam also has a six percentage point advantage among registered voters in Virginia including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate and those who voted by absentee ballot.  47% support Northam while 41% are behind Jackson.  One percent supports another candidate, and 10% are undecided.  Last month, Northam had the backing of 42% of registered voters while 40% were for Jackson.  One percent supported another candidate, and 16% were undecided.

Table: 2013 Lieutenant Governor Tossup (Virginia Likely Voters including Leaners and Absentees)

Table: Intensity of Support for Virginia Lieutenant Governor (Virginia Likely Voters with a Candidate Preference)

Table: 2013 Lieutenant Governor Tossup (Virginia Registered Voters including Leaners and Absentees)

McDonnell Approval Rating Status Quo

A majority of adults in Virginia — 53% — approves of the job Governor Bob McDonnell is doing in office.  31% disapprove, and 16% are unsure.  Among registered voters in Virginia, 55% give McDonnell high marks.  32% say his performance has fallen short, and 13% are unsure.

There has been little change on this question since last month.  At that time, 51% of adults thought well of McDonnell’s job performance.  33% disapproved, and 16% were unsure.  A majority of registered voters in that previous survey — 55% — approved of McDonnell’s job performance.  33% disapproved, and 12% were unsure.

Looking at McDonnell’s favorability, 48% of adults statewide have a positive impression of McDonnell while 35% have an unfavorable one.  17% have either never heard of McDonnell or are unsure how to rate him.  Among registered voters, 49% view McDonnell favorably.  37% perceive him unfavorably, and 14% have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him.

In September, 49% of Virginia residents thought well of McDonnell while 32% did not.  19%, at that time, were unsure.   Among registered voters, 52% had a positive opinion of McDonnell while 33% had an unfavorable impression of the governor.  15%, then, had either never heard of McDonnell or were unsure how to rate him.

Table: Governor Bob McDonnell Approval Rating (Virginia Adults)

Table: Governor Bob McDonnell Favorability (Virginia Adults)

A State on Track?

While a majority of Virginians think the state is headed in the right direction, there has been a decline in the proportion of residents who have this opinion.  52% of adults statewide say the state is moving in the right direction while 42% think it is headed in the wrong one.  Six percent are unsure.  Registered voters reflect the views of residents overall.  53% of voters think Virginia is moving on the proper path while 41% say the state needs an alternate route.  Six percent are unsure.

In September’s poll, nearly six in ten adults — 58% — reported the state was on course.  This compares with 36% who said Virginia had fallen off the track.  Six percent, then, were unsure.  Among registered voters, 59% thought Virginia was on the correct path while 36% said it needed to be redirected.  Five percent, at that time, were unsure.

Table: Direction of Virginia (Virginia Adults)

Majority Disapproves of Obama’s Job Performance

52% of adults in Virginia disapprove of how President Obama is doing his job while 45% approve.  Four percent are unsure.  Among registered voters statewide, 53% disapprove of Mr. Obama’s job performance while 45% approve.  Three percent are unsure.

Last month, 48% of adults in Virginia gave the president high marks while 46% said his performance was not satisfactory.  Six percent, at that time, were unsure.  Looking at registered voters, 48% in September praised the president’s job performance while 47% thought it was lacking.  Five percent were unsure.

Is President Obama viewed favorably in Virginia?  He receives mixed reviews.  49% of residents have a positive opinion of the president while 48% have an unfavorable view of him.  Three percent have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him.  The opinions of Virginia registered voters mirror those of residents, overall.  49% have a favorable view of President Obama while 49% have an unfavorable one.  Two percent have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate the president.

When NBC4/NBC News/Marist last reported this question, 52% of Virginians thought well of Mr. Obama while 45% had a negative impression of him.  Four percent had either never heard of him or were unsure how to rate him.  At that time, 52% of registered voters perceived the president positively.  45% had an unfavorable impression of him, and 3% had either never heard of him or were unsure how to rate him.

Table: Obama Approval Rating (Virginia Adults)

Table: Obama Favorability (Virginia Adults)

From Politics to Football…More than Seven in Ten Want Redskins to Keep Name 

There has been much debate about whether or not the Washington Redskins should change their name.  While more than one in five adults in Virginia — 21% — think the team should find a different name because “Redskins” is offensive to Native Americans, 73% believe the name should remain because it is a part of the team’s tradition.  Six percent are unsure.  Fans of the team agree.  One in five — 20% — says the name should be changed while 78% want it to remain.  Two percent are unsure.

Table: Whether or Not the Name of the Washington Redskins Should be Changed (Virginia Adults)

How the Survey was Conducted

Nature of the Sample

 

Comments

2 Responses to “10/18: McAuliffe Leads Cuccinelli by 8 Percentage Points in Virginia Governor’s Race”

  1. The Daily Beast: Hillary Clinton Vs. the GOP Boys’ Club: Fighting for the Female Vote | Litbloc on October 21st, 2013 8:26 am

    [...] ground,” while McAuliffe hammered away on abortion rights and women’s health. According to the polls, McAuliffe continues to lead Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, and is boosted by a 20 [...]

  2. Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 10/18 | My Blog on November 5th, 2013 11:55 am

    [...] AM PT: VA-Gov, -LG: Marist’s new poll of the Virginia gubernatorial race finds Terry McAuliffe legging out to an 8-point lead, taking 46 [...]

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