Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli are in locked a dead heat in the Virginia gubernatorial race.
According to a Quinnipiac Poll released Wednesday, McAuliffe, a former Democratic National Committee Chairman, would take 40 percent of the vote if the election were held today while Cuccinelli, the state’s attorney general, would take 39 percent. Eighteen percent of voters say they are still undecided.
Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling has said he may still get in the race as an independent and currently garners 13 percent support, according to the poll. Bolling, who declined to run as a Republican after it became clear that Cuccinelli would win the primary, would pull equally from Cuccinelli and McAuliffe, who both get 34 percent of the vote in this scenario.
The Virginia electorate for the most part remains unfamiliar with all three candidates. Sixty-one percent say they do not know enough to have an opinion of McAuliffe, 41 percent have no opinion of Cuccinelli, and 72 percent say the same of Bill Bolling. That means the numbers could shift as voters become more familiar with the candidates.
The poll shows positive movement for Cuccinelli since last Quinnipiac’s November poll, when he was running behind McAuliffe 37 percent to 41 percent.
The results are based on telephone interviews with 1,134 registered voters in Virginia from January 4-7. The poll has a plus or minus 2.9 percentage point margin of error.
A poll released Wednesday from Public Policy Polling, which conducts robo-polls, found McAuliffe leading 46 percent to 41 percent. With Bolling in the race, McAuliffe led with 40 percent to Cuccinelli’s 32 percent and Bolling’s 15 percent. The poll is based on a survey of 602 Virginia voters from January 4-6, and has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.
Virginia is one of the two states that will have a gubernatorial election in November 2013. Current Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican, is prohibited from running again by term limits.