March 27, 2013 - Virginia Voters Know Little About Gov Candidates, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Cuccinelli More Experienced, McAuliffe Less Ideological

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Virginia State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is viewed as having better experience while voters see Terry McAuliffe as slightly less ideological, but neither is well-known to voters who are divided on who should be the next governor, with 40 percent for Republican Cuccinelli and 38 percent for Democrat McAuliffe according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

The decision by Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling that he would not run for governor as an independent has had no effect on the Cuccinelli-McAuliffe matchup as the current dead heat is the same as two previous surveys this year, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

For 37 percent of Virginia voters, the economy is the most important issue in the governor's race, while 19 percent list education, 15 percent cite taxes and 12 percent list the state budget.

"Neither candidate for governor is that well known to voters although Cuccinelli has a small edge in that department," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Because of their relatively low profiles at this point, the horse race numbers pretty much reflect a generic Democratic-Republican race.

"The Cuccinelli-McAuliffe race features the kind of gender gap we are seeing in many races. The Democrat wins women 43 - 33 percent, while the Republican carries men 49 - 33 percent.

Voters say 44 - 22 percent that Cuccinelli, the attorney general and former state legislator, has the right kind of experience to be governor. Businessman McAuliffe, who has never held public office although he was Democratic National Chairman, has the right experience voters say 28 - 23 percent.

Virginia voters still know little about either candidate. Cuccinelli gets a 30 - 24 percent favorability rating, with 44 percent who don't know enough about him to form an opinion. McAuliffe has a 20 - 16 percent favorability, with 63 percent who don't know enough about him.

Cuccinelli's political philosophy is "about right," 32 percent of Virginia voters say, while 29 percent say he is too conservative and 5 percent say he is too liberal, while 33 percent of voters do not have an opinion.

McAuliffe's philosophy is "about right," 29 percent of voters say, while 21 percent say he is too liberal and 4 percent say he is too conservative, while 45 percent of voters do not have an opinion.

"At this point in the race, the number of voters who see Cuccinelli as 'too conservative' is higher than the number who sees McAuliffe as 'too liberal.' But the general public does not see the GOP candidate as a far right kind of guy as some both inside and outside the Republican Party have suggested. It would not be surprising to see McAuliffe try to pin the ideologue label on Cuccinelli but as of now the label does not stick," said Brown.

Gov. Bob McDonnell gets a static 53 - 26 percent job approval rating, compared to his 53 - 28 percent in Quinnipiac University's February 20 survey. The State Legislature has a split 40 - 40 percent job approval, compared to a negative 38 - 46 percent rating last month.

"While the governor is treading water, the legislature seems to have benefitted from the recently concluded legislative session in the eyes of the public," said Brown.

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner gets a 56 - 26 percent approval rating, with 47 - 33 percent for first-term Sen. Tim Kaine.

Voters approve 45 - 27 percent of the job Cuccinelli is doing and give Lt. Gov. Bolling a 37 - 15 percent score.

From March 20 - 25, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,098 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia and the nation as a public service and for research.

For more information or RSS feed, visit http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling, or call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.

1. If the election for Governor were being held today, and the candidates were Terry McAuliffe the Democrat and Ken Cuccinelli the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
McAuliffe            38%     3%    86%    29%    33%    43%    30%    70%
Cuccinelli           40     83      2     37     49     33     49      7
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      1      1      2      2      1      2      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2      3      -      3      3      2      2      3
DK/NA                18     10     10     29     14     21     16     18
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
McAuliffe            43%    35%    39%    38%    43%    38%    38%    39%
Cuccinelli           42     39     33     44     47     33     45     40
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      1      2      1      1      1      2      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1      3      3      2      1      4      2      2
DK/NA                12     21     23     15      8     24     14     17
 
                                   East/  West/
                     North  SthEst Rchmnd Shndh
 
McAuliffe            43%    37%    40%    29%
Cuccinelli           39     37     39     47
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       3      -      1      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1      2      3      3
DK/NA                15     23     16     19
 
TREND: If the election for Governor were being held today, and the candidates were Terry McAuliffe the Democrat and Ken Cuccinelli the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     Mar 27  Feb 20  Jan 09  Nov 14
                     2013    2013    2013    2012
 
McAuliffe            38      38      40      41
Cuccinelli           40      38      39      37
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2       1       2       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2       2       1       1
DK/NA                18      21      18      21
 
 
2. Is your opinion of Terry McAuliffe favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Favorable            20%     5%    40%    15%    21%    19%    19%    27%
Unfavorable          16     30      3     13     23     10     19      4
Hvn't hrd enough     63     64     56     70     55     70     61     67
REFUSED               1      1      1      1      1      1      1      2
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Terry McAuliffe favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Mar 27  Feb 20  Jan 09  Nov 14
                     2013    2013    2013    2012
 
Favorable            20      23      23      17
Unfavorable          16      16      16      13
Hvn't hrd enough     63      60      61      68
REFUSED               1       1       1       1
 
 
3. Is your opinion of Ken Cuccinelli favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Favorable            30%    58%     4%    29%    38%    23%    35%    11%
Unfavorable          24      6     41     26     23     24     23     26
Hvn't hrd enough     44     35     53     42     38     49     40     59
REFUSED               2      1      2      3      2      3      2      3
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Ken Cuccinelli favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Mar 27  Feb 20  Jan 09  Nov 14
                     2013    2013    2013    2012
 
Favorable            30      30      33      29
Unfavorable          24      25      25      24
Hvn't hrd enough     44      44      41      45
REFUSED               2       1       2       2
 
 
4. Is your opinion of Bob McDonnell favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Favorable            42%    67%    20%    44%    47%    37%    46%    26%
Unfavorable          22     11     34     19     23     21     21     24
Hvn't hrd enough     33     20     41     33     28     37     30     46
REFUSED               4      2      4      4      3      5      3      4
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Bob McDonnell favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Mar 27  Feb 20  Jan 09  Nov 15  Jun 07
                     2013    2013    2013    2012    2012
 
Favorable            42      41      45      42      39
Unfavorable          22      24      23      22      25
Hvn't hrd enough     33      33      30      34      35
REFUSED               4       3       2       2       2
 
 
5. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bob McDonnell is handling his job as Governor?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              53%    73%    33%    56%    61%    46%    56%    43%
Disapprove           26     14     42     22     25     27     24     31
DK/NA                21     13     25     21     14     27     20     26
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Approve              56%    51%    47%    55%    61%    41%    56%    58%
Disapprove           29     24     26     26     28     25     31     24
DK/NA                16     24     27     20     10     34     13     18
 
                                   East/  West/
                     North  SthEst Rchmnd Shndh
 
Approve              55%    49%    53%    54%
Disapprove           26     25     28     24
DK/NA                19     26     19     22
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bob McDonnell is handling his job as Governor? (*Low also 53% Mar 2012, Jun 2012, Nov 2012, Feb 2013)
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Mar 27  Feb 20  Jan 09  Nov 15  Jul 18  Oct 12  Mar 27
                     2013    2013    2013    2012    2012    2011    2013*
 
Approve              53      53      54      53      55      62      53
Disapprove           26      28      27      26      29      22      26
DK/NA                21      19      19      20      17      16      21
 
 
6. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              40%    55%    30%    37%    47%    34%    41%    35%
Disapprove           40     24     50     42     37     42     37     49
DK/NA                20     22     20     20     16     24     22     16
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Approve              42%    38%    39%    39%    46%    36%    40%    43%
Disapprove           41     39     40     41     43     35     45     38
DK/NA                16     23     22     20     12     28     15     19
 
                                   East/  West/
                     North  SthEst Rchmnd Shndh
 
Approve              42%    34%    40%    42%
Disapprove           36     42     41     41
DK/NA                22     24     19     17
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job? (*High also 48% Jun 2011, **Low also 38% Mar 2012)
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Mar 27  Feb 20  Jan 09  Nov 15  Jul 18  Sep 14  Feb 20
                     2013    2013    2013    2012    2012    2011*   2013**
 
Approve              40      38      43      44      41      48      38
Disapprove           40      46      39      35      41      34      46
DK/NA                20      16      19      21      18      18      16
 
 
7. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Mark Warner is handling his job as United States Senator?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              56%    39%    75%    56%    54%    57%    53%    69%
Disapprove           26     42      8     25     32     21     30     15
DK/NA                18     19     17     18     14     21     17     16
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Approve              62%    52%    57%    57%    58%    51%    59%    56%
Disapprove           25     27     24     28     28     21     28     28
DK/NA                13     21     19     16     14     28     13     16
 
                                   East/  West/
                     North  SthEst Rchmnd Shndh
 
Approve              60%    45%    59%    56%
Disapprove           23     29     25     29
DK/NA                16     26     16     15
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Mark Warner is handling his job as United States Senator? (*High also 64% Sep 2011)
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Mar 27  Feb 21  Jan 09  Nov 14  Jul 18  Feb 09  Mar 27
                     2013    2013    2013    2012    2012    2012*   2013
 
Approve              56      58      59      60      57      64      56
Disapprove           26      28      27      25      24      22      26
DK/NA                18      14      13      16      19      14      18
 
 
8. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Tim Kaine is handling his job as United States Senator?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              47%    23%    81%    44%    45%    50%    40%    73%
Disapprove           33     57      6     32     39     28     39     14
DK/NA                20     21     13     24     16     23     21     13
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Approve              54%    43%    48%    47%    52%    49%    53%    45%
Disapprove           31     34     31     35     35     25     34     37
DK/NA                15     22     21     18     13     26     14     19
 
                                   East/  West/
                     North  SthEst Rchmnd Shndh
 
Approve              50%    46%    50%    40%
Disapprove           31     31     34     36
DK/NA                18     23     16     24
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Tim Kaine is handling his job as United States Senator?
                     Mar 27  Feb 21  Jan 09
                     2013    2013    2013
 
Approve              47      50      48
Disapprove           33      33      30
DK/NA                20      17      22
 
 
10. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bill Bolling is handling his job as Lieutenant Governor?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              37%    42%    39%    33%    40%    34%    37%    37%
Disapprove           15     13     14     19     19     12     15     15
DK/NA                48     45     47     49     41     53     48     48
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Approve              37%    37%    37%    40%    36%    34%    38%    39%
Disapprove           15     16     15     15     16     18     16     13
DK/NA                48     48     48     45     48     48     45     48
 
                                   East/  West/
                     North  SthEst Rchmnd Shndh
 
Approve              31%    37%    37%    44%
Disapprove           12     16     19     13
DK/NA                56     47     44     44
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bill Bolling is handling his job as Lieutenant Governor? (*Low also 35% Oct 2011)
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Mar 27  Feb 20  Jan 09  Nov 14  Jul 18  Jan 09  Dec 22
                     2013    2013    2013    2012    2012    2013    2011*
 
Approve              37      36      40      38      36      40      35
Disapprove           15      18      16      15      19      16      18
DK/NA                48      45      44      47      45      44      46
 
 
11. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ken Cuccinelli is handling his job as Virginia Attorney General?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              45%    68%    25%    44%    53%    38%    47%    32%
Disapprove           27      9     45     27     27     28     27     32
DK/NA                28     23     30     29     20     34     26     36
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Approve              44%    46%    42%    48%    46%    42%    47%    47%
Disapprove           36     22     25     26     34     18     30     31
DK/NA                20     32     33     26     20     40     23     23
 
                                   East/  West/
                     North  SthEst Rchmnd Shndh
 
Approve              44%    44%    47%    44%
Disapprove           31     24     28     24
DK/NA                25     31     25     32
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ken Cuccinelli is handling his job as Virginia Attorney General?
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Mar 27  Feb 20  Jan 09  Nov 14  Jul 18  Jun 29  Feb 20
                     2013    2013    2013    2012    2012    2011    2013
 
Approve              45      41      48      43      44      49      41
Disapprove           27      32      27      29      31      31      32
DK/NA                28      26      25      28      25      20      26
 
 
12. In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in Virginia today; are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Very satisfied        7%    10%     4%     5%     8%     5%     7%     2%
Smwht satisfied      57     63     56     54     60     54     55     66
Smwht dissatisfied   25     19     32     25     21     29     25     24
Very dissatisfied    10      7      7     13      9     11     11      7
DK/NA                 2      1      1      2      2      1      2      1
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Very satisfied        9%     5%     5%     5%     9%     6%     7%     7%
Smwht satisfied      59     55     53     58     61     56     58     57
Smwht dissatisfied   23     26     27     26     22     27     27     22
Very dissatisfied     9     11     13     10      7     10      7     12
DK/NA                 1      2      2      -      2      1      1      2
 
                                   East/  West/
                     North  SthEst Rchmnd Shndh
 
Very satisfied       10%     3%     6%     8%
Smwht satisfied      62     51     61     47
Smwht dissatisfied   19     35     21     31
Very dissatisfied     8     10     10     14
DK/NA                 2      2      2      -
 
TREND: In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in Virginia today; are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied? (*High also 68% Jun 2011)
                                                             VERY+SMWHT SAT
                                                             High    Low
                     Mar 27  Feb 20  Jan 10  Nov 15  Feb 09  Sep 14  Feb 20
                     2013    2013    2013    2012    2012    2011*   2013
 
Very satisfied        7       8       8      10      11      13       8
Smwht satisfied      57      50      57      57      55      55      50
Smwht dissatisfied   25      29      24      22      25      24      29
Very dissatisfied    10      12      10      11       9       7      12
DK/NA                 2       1       1       1       1       1       1
 
 
13a. What is the most important issue to you in deciding how to vote for governor this year? COMBINED WITH: 13b. And what is the next most important issue to you in deciding how to vote for governor this year? (Note: Percentages add to more than 100%)
                                    Tot
 
Economy total                       37%
 Economy                            20
 Jobs/Unemployment                  17
 
Education total                     19%
 Education(General)                 14
 Education(Funding/Spending)         2
 Education(Other)                    3
 
Taxes total                         15%
 Taxes(General)                     14
 Taxes(Other)                        1
 
Budget total                        12%
 Budget(General)                     7
 Budget (Government spending)        3
 Budget (Other)                      2
 
Gun Issues                           9
Healthcare                           8
Transportation                       8
Roads/Infrastructure                 5
Women's Issues                       4
Social Issues/Social Services        4
Party/Political Philosophy           4
Abortion                             3
Gay marriage/Gay Issues              3
Cares about the people               2
Military Issues/Benefits             2
Elderly Issues                       2
Crime/Safety/Terrorism               1
 
Other                               20
DK/NA                               14
 
 
14. Do you think Terry McAuliffe has the right kind of experience to be Governor of Virginia or not?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Yes                  28%    14%    46%    24%    30%    27%    26%    37%
No                   23     41      6     22     28     18     27      9
DK/NA                49     45     48     53     42     55     47     54
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Yes                  36%    24%    29%    24%    37%    31%    27%    28%
No                   26     20     18     21     30     11     28     26
DK/NA                38     56     52     55     33     58     45     46
 
                                   East/  West/
                     North  SthEst Rchmnd Shndh
 
Yes                  32%    25%    31%    21%
No                   25     21     24     19
DK/NA                43     54     45     59
 
 
15. Do you think Ken Cuccinelli has the right kind of experience to be Governor of Virginia or not?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Yes                  44%    66%    23%    44%    54%    35%    47%    31%
No                   22      9     33     22     20     23     21     22
DK/NA                35     25     44     35     26     42     32     47
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Yes                  50%    40%    39%    44%    54%    40%    48%    44%
No                   29     17     21     21     24     13     24     25
DK/NA                22     43     40     35     22     47     28     31
 
                                   East/  West/
                     North  SthEst Rchmnd Shndh
 
Yes                  49%    36%    45%    41%
No                   22     22     23     17
DK/NA                29     42     31     42
 
 
16. Do you think Terry McAuliffe is too liberal, too conservative, or about right?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Liberal              21%    40%     5%    19%    28%    16%    25%    10%
Conservative          4      4      4      4      6      2      4      4
About right          29     11     49     29     28     31     26     41
DK/NA                45     45     41     47     38     51     45     46
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Liberal              29%    17%    15%    24%    29%    14%    23%    25%
Conservative          2      5      7      3      2      6      4      3
About right          37     25     29     30     36     28     32     30
DK/NA                32     53     49     43     33     52     41     42
 
                                   East/  West/
                     North  SthEst Rchmnd Shndh
 
Liberal              28%    15%    22%    20%
Conservative          4      4      4      4
About right          30     31     33     21
DK/NA                39     50     41     55
 
 
17. Do you think Ken Cuccinelli is too liberal, too conservative, or about right?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Liberal               5%     4%     7%     3%     5%     5%     5%     8%
Conservative         29     14     45     30     31     28     29     34
About right          32     56      9     33     39     26     35     16
DK/NA                33     26     38     34     25     41     31     42
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Liberal               3%     6%     8%     5%     3%     7%     6%     4%
Conservative         44     21     24     31     43     22     34     32
About right          31     32     29     35     32     24     34     35
DK/NA                22     40     39     30     22     46     26     29
 
                                   East/  West/
                     North  SthEst Rchmnd Shndh
 
Liberal               6%     4%     6%     2%
Conservative         36     22     34     20
About right          31     31     32     34
DK/NA                27     42     28     44
 
 

Demographic Summary