Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli speaks with reporters following his address to the Virginia Energy and Opportunity Forum in Arlington, Va., Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013.
Cliff Owen/AO

Cuccinelli trailing opponent, seen as ‘too conservative’


Democrat Terry McAuliffe is leading Republican Ken Cuccinelli in yet another poll, buyoed by women and voters who see his rival as “too conservative.”

With less than a month left in the Virginia governor’s race, the former DNC chairman leads the attorney general by eight points, 47%-39%, in a Quinnipiac University poll.

Libertarian Robert Sarvis takes 7%, which may not be enoughfor him to make it into the final debate of the campaign.

Throughout the campaign, Cuccinelli has struggled with women voters, and that hasn’t changed. McAuliffe has a 19 point lead with women, 53%-34%. Men narrowly back Cuccinelli, 45%-41%.

McAuliffe’s strategy to paint Cuccinelli as too conservative for the swing state appears to resonated.

Forty-six percent of likely voters say Cuccinelli is “too conservative,” with 37% saying his positions are “about right.” That’s compared to 48% who say McAuliffe’s positions are “about right,” while 38% say he’s too liberal.

Cuccinell’s negatives are also still upside down, with 49% viewing the attorney general unfavorably, compared to 39% favorability. Voters have a split view of McAuliffe, 41%-40%.

“With less than a month to go until Election Day, McAuliffe is doing better among Democrats than Cuccinelli is among Republicans. McAuliffe and Libertarian Robert Sarvis are denying Cuccinelli the domination among independents he needs for victory,” wrote Quinnipiac assistant polling director Peter A. Brown. “To get back in the race, Cuccinelli must bring back into the fold Republican defectors and pull in more independent voters – a tough task this far into the campaign.”

Cuccinelli has also been haunted by the government shutdown, heavily affecting Virginia’s sizable government and military workforce. Voters say they heavily oppose shutting down the government to block Obamacare implementation, 71%-24%. Voters narrowly oppose the health care law, 49%-47%.

The poll was conducted October 2-8 and surveyed 1,180 likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points. 


Cuccinelli trailing opponent, seen as ‘too conservative’