August 21, 2013 - Dem Has Likely Voter Lead In Virginia Governor's Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Candidates For Lt. Gov, Attorney General Are Unknown
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Democrat Terry McAuliffe has a 48 - 42 percent lead over Republican State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli in the race to become Virginia's next governor, according to today's Quinnipiac University poll, the first survey in this race among voters likely to vote in the November election.

The six-point lead for McAuliffe is not comparable to previous surveys by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University, taken among registered voters.

Honesty is the most important quality Virginia likely voters are considering when they choose a candidate as 58 percent of voters say a candidate's "honesty and trustworthiness" are "extremely important" while 35 percent say "very important." Voters are divided 39 - 36 percent on whether McAuliffe is honest and trustworthy, and are divided 42 - 43 percent on Cuccinelli's honesty.

A candidate's experience is extremely important, 19 percent say, as 42 percent say very important. Cuccinelli has the right kind of experience, voters say 56 - 31 percent, compared to 46 - 34 percent for McAuliffe.

A candidate's "understanding of the problems of people like you" is extremely important, 44 percent of voters say, while 38 percent say very important. Voters are divided on McAuliffe as 38 percent say he understands and 42 percent say he doesn't. By a wide 51 - 37 percent margin, voters say Cuccinelli does not understand.

"Democrat Terry McAuliffe is up 16 percentage points among voters who say empathy or understanding their problems is extremely important, while Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has a 23-point advantage among those who say the right kind of experience is extremely important," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "It's a tossup among voters who say honesty is extremely important. Voters care more about empathy than experience which helps explain McAuliffe's lead."

"The campaign has been light on issues and big on personalities, and it is in the area of personal characteristics that McAuliffe has a small edge," said Brown. "It seems obvious that Gov. Bob McDonnell's political troubles are hurting fellow Republican Cuccinelli. Guilt by association may not be fair, but it sure is politically powerful. Trust matters and at this point neither man is doing all that well in that category."

McAuliffe carries Democrats 92 - 1 percent while Cuccinelli wins Republicans 90 - 6 percent. Independent voters are divided with 42 percent for McAuliffe and 44 percent for Cuccinelli.

The candidates break even 45 - 46 percent among men while McAuliffe takes women 50 - 38 percent. Cuccinelli wins white voters 50 - 42 percent, while black voters go Democratic 74 - 7 percent.

Voters have a 41 - 35 percent unfavorable view of Cuccinelli and disapprove slightly, 46 - 42 percent, of his performance as attorney general. They have a split 34 - 33 percent favorable/ unfavorable opinion of McAuliffe.

Virginia voters say 56 - 25 percent that McAuliffe spends more time attacking Cuccinelli rather than explaining what he would do as governor.

Cuccinelli spends more time attacking rather than explaining, voters say 52 - 32 percent.

With less than three months until the election, the candidates for attorney general and lieutenant governor are unknown to the vast majority of voters.

In the race for lieutenant governor, 75 percent of voters don't know enough about Republican E.W. Jackson to form an opinion of him, and 87 percent don't know enough about Democrat Ralph Northam.

Republican attorney general candidate Mark Obenshain gets an 82 percent "don't know enough," compared to 88 percent for Democrat Mark Herring.

From August 14 - 19, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,129 likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 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, Colorado, Iowa and the nation as a public service and for research.

For more information, visit http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling, 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? (If undecided) As of today, do you lean more toward McAuliffe or Cuccinelli? (Table includes leaners)
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
McAuliffe            48%     6%    92%    42%    45%    50%    42%    74%
Cuccinelli           42     90      1     44     46     38     50      7
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      1      1      3      2      2      1      4
DK/NA                 9      4      6     12      8      9      6     15
 
                     WHITE........................................
                     COLLEGE DEG   RELIGION..........
                     Yes    No     Prot   Cath   None   Men    Wom
 
McAuliffe            46%    38%    32%    42%    65%    36%    48%
Cuccinelli           46     54     59     53     29     57     44
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      1      1      2      1      2      1
DK/NA                 5      7      8      4      4      6      7
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-49  50-64  65+
 
McAuliffe            50%    45%    52%    43%    50%    50%    45%    47%
Cuccinelli           41     44     37     49     42     42     42     44
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      2      3      1      1      2      1      1
DK/NA                 7      9      8      7      7      7     11      8
 
                     EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO VOTE Q25, 26, 27
                     Hon-   Expr   Under-
                     esty   -nce   Stndg
 
McAuliffe            45%    34%    52%
Cuccinelli           44     57     36
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      3      1
DK/NA                 9      7     10
 
 
1a. (If candidate chosen q1) Will you definitely vote for (Candidate of choice q1), or is there a chance you could change your mind and vote for (Candidate not chosen q1)? IF CHANGE MIND: Would you say there's a good chance you'll change your mind, or would you say it's pretty unlikely?
                     LIKELY VOTERS..................
                     CANDIDATE CHOSEN Q1............
                            CANDIDATE OF CHOICE Q1..
                     Tot    McAuliffe     Cuccinelli
 
Def vote for cand    76%    78%           74%
Unlikely to change   12     12            11
Good chance change   10      9            11
DK/NA                 3      1             4
 
 
1b. (If candidate chosen q1) Would you say you are very enthusiastic about supporting (Candidate chosen), somewhat enthusiastic, not so enthusiastic, or not enthusiastic at all?
                     LIKELY VOTERS..................
                     CANDIDATE CHOSEN Q1............
                            CANDIDATE OF CHOICE Q1..
                     Tot    McAuliffe     Cuccinelli
 
Very enthusiastic    25%    23%           27%
Smwht enthusiastic   57     55            58
Not so enthusiastic  13     15            10
Not enthus at all     4      5             3
DK/NA                 2      2             1
 
 
2. Is your opinion of Terry McAuliffe favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Favorable            34%     6%    67%    30%    32%    36%    29%    60%
Unfavorable          33     60      5     37     38     29     39      6
Hvn't hrd enough     31     34     28     31     29     33     30     34
REFUSED               1      1      1      2      1      2      1      -
 
 
3. Is your opinion of Ken Cuccinelli favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Favorable            35%    73%     6%    35%    39%    32%    40%    11%
Unfavorable          41      6     73     41     38     44     39     54
Hvn't hrd enough     22     20     20     22     23     22     20     34
REFUSED               2      2      1      2      1      2      1      1
 
 
5. Is your opinion of E.W. Jackson favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Favorable             8%    13%     2%     9%    11%     6%    10%     3%
Unfavorable          16      6     27     15     20     12     15     19
Hvn't hrd enough     75     81     69     75     68     81     74     77
REFUSED               1      -      2      1      1      1      1      1
 
 
6. Is your opinion of Ralph Northam favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Favorable             8%     4%    15%     5%     8%     8%     8%     9%
Unfavorable           4      4      3      4      4      4      4      4
Hvn't hrd enough     87     91     81     91     88     87     88     85
REFUSED               1      -      1      -      -      1      -      1
 
 
7. Is your opinion of Mark Herring favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Favorable             8%     2%    15%     7%     9%     8%     8%     7%
Unfavorable           3      4      1      3      4      2      3      5
Hvn't hrd enough     88     92     83     88     87     88     88     87
REFUSED               1      1      1      1      -      2      1      1
 
 
8. Is your opinion of Mark Obenshain favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Favorable            12%    15%     5%    14%    13%    10%    13%     4%
Unfavorable           6      5     10      5      8      5      7      3
Hvn't hrd enough     82     80     84     81     79     84     80     92
REFUSED               1      -      1      -      -      1      1      -
 
 
23. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ken Cuccinelli is handling his job as Virginia Attorney General?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              42%    81%    12%    42%    46%    39%    49%    19%
Disapprove           46     11     76     48     45     48     42     66
DK/NA                11      8     12     11     10     13      9     15
 
 
25. (INTRO Q25-27: Thinking about this year's election for governor, for each personal quality I name, please tell me how important it is in your decision of who to support in the election for governor.)
How about the candidate's - experience, would you say this is extremely important in your choice for governor, very important, somewhat important, not so important or not important at all?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Extremely important  19%    28%    16%    17%    20%    18%    20%    19%
Very important       42     48     43     40     36     48     43     41
Somewhat important   32     22     34     36     36     29     32     34
Not so important      4      2      4      5      4      4      4      3
Not important at all  2      -      2      2      2      1      1      2
DK/NA                 -      -      1      -      -      -      -      1
 
 
26. How about the candidate's - understanding of the problems of people like you, would you say this is extremely important in your choice for governor, very important, somewhat important, not so important or not important at all?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Extremely important  44%    37%    50%    43%    41%    46%    40%    62%
Very important       38     44     33     37     37     38     39     31
Somewhat important   16     15     15     15     18     13     19      6
Not so important      2      2      1      2      2      1      1      -
Not important at all  1      1      -      1      1      -      1      -
DK/NA                 1      -      1      1      1      1      -      1
 
 
27. How about the candidate's - honesty and trustworthiness, would you say this is extremely important in your choice for governor, very important, somewhat important, not so important or not important at all?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Extremely important  58%    60%    52%    63%    58%    58%    60%    51%
Very important       35     33     43     29     34     36     34     43
Somewhat important    6      7      4      8      7      6      6      6
Not so important      -      -      -      1      -      -      -      1
Not important at all  1      -      -      -      1      -      1      -
DK/NA                 -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
 
 
28. (INTRO Q28-33: Now, I'd like to ask whether you think each of these qualities describes each candidate in the election for governor.)
Do you think Ken Cuccinelli - has the right kind of experience to be Governor of Virginia or not?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Yes                  56%    83%    33%    59%    63%    51%    63%    33%
No                   31      5     54     29     27     35     26     50
DK/NA                13     12     13     12     11     14     11     17
 
 
29. Would you say that Ken Cuccinelli - understands the problems of people like you or not?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Yes                  37%    73%    11%    35%    41%    34%    43%    14%
No                   51     17     79     54     47     55     47     76
DK/NA                11      9     10     11     11     11     10     11
 
 
30. Would you say that Ken Cuccinelli - is honest and trustworthy or not?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Yes                  42%    77%    15%    41%    47%    37%    48%    19%
No                   43     10     69     44     39     47     38     65
DK/NA                15     12     16     15     14     16     14     16
 
 
31. Do you think Terry McAuliffe - has the right kind of experience to be Governor of Virginia or not?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Yes                  46%    29%    71%    40%    45%    47%    44%    58%
No                   34     49     12     40     36     31     36     21
DK/NA                21     23     16     19     19     22     20     22
 
 
32. Would you say that Terry McAuliffe - understands the problems of people like you or not?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Yes                  38%    18%    65%    32%    37%    39%    35%    57%
No                   42     59     19     51     44     39     46     25
DK/NA                20     23     16     17     19     22     20     18
 
 
33. Would you say that Terry McAuliffe - is honest and trustworthy or not?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Yes                  39%    21%    65%    33%    36%    42%    36%    56%
No                   36     52     13     43     40     33     40     21
DK/NA                25     27     22     24     23     26     24     23
 
 
35. What do you think Ken Cuccinelli is spending more time doing in his campaign, explaining what he would do if elected Governor or attacking Terry McAuliffe?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Explaining           32%    47%    20%    32%    35%    28%    34%    23%
Attacking            52     36     62     56     50     55     51     56
DK/NA                16     17     18     12     15     17     15     22
 
 
36. What do you think Terry McAuliffe is spending more time doing in his campaign, explaining what he would do if elected Governor or attacking Ken Cuccinelli?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Explaining           25%    14%    42%    21%    24%    26%    21%    43%
Attacking            56     67     38     63     57     54     61     35
DK/NA                19     19     20     16     18     20     19     22
 
 

Demographic Summary