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McAuliffe Pulls Ahead in Virginia Gov. Race

November 4, 2013
By John Gizzi

Democrat Terry McAuliffe is rallying his party's base as well as independent voters and has seized the momentum heading into Tuesday's election for governor of Virginia, a just-completed Newsmax/Zogby Poll shows. Moreover, the biggest fear of Virginia Republicans appears to be coming true: that Libertarian nominee Robert Sarvis will drain significant votes that otherwise would have gone to GOP nominee Ken Cuccinelli, the state attorney general

Zogby found that among likely voters statewide, McAuliffe, former chairman of the Democratic National chairman, leads Cuccinelli by a margin of 43 percent to 36 percent.

The poll also showed Sarvis holding firm with 9 percent, other candidates with 3 percent, and 9 percent still undecided.

Three days ago, Zogby's figures found McAuliffe leading Cuccinelli by a smaller margin of 35.5 percent to 30.4 percent.

Also, the Emerson College Polling Society said on Friday that McAuliffe's lead over Cuccinelli was just two points — 42 percent to 40 percent –with Sarvis taking 13 percent of the vote.

But, McAuliffe's lead has grown, in large part, by consolidating the Democratic base in the twilight days of the campaign.

Zogby's new figures show the Democratic nominee winning the support of 87 percent of voters who consider himself Democrats, 85 percent of African Americans, 81 percent of self-described liberals.

He also leads among independents 45 percent to 30 percent and among those who consider themselves moderates by a strong 58 percent to 31 percent.

The biggest problem for Cuccinelli, Zogby concluded, is Sarvis, whose support has consistently remained at 8 percent to 10 percent since Zogby began polling in the Old Dominion State two months ago.

In the latest survey, Zogby told Newsmax, "Sarvis receives 10 percent from Republican voters and 13 percent among self-described conservatives."

Zogby pointed out that among voters who consider themselves "independent" or unaffiliated with a political party, Sarvis scores a strong 19 percent of the vote.

Zogby earlier predicted to Newsmax that a showing of at least 10 percent by Sarvis "could very well be one of the big stories November 5."

Under Virginia election law, should Sarvis draw 10 percent of the vote, the Libertarian Party will have an automatic state ballot position in 2014, 2015, and 2016. That will give the party positions for which to nominate candidates for Congress, Senate, or whatever other state office is on the Virginia ballot in those years.

Among those voters who have already firmly decided, Zogby found McAuliffe leading Cuccinelli 47 percent to 39 percent, with Sarvis reaching 10 percent, and 4 percent for other candidates.

McAuliffe also appears to perform well enough among Born Again Christians with 37 percent support to Cuccinelli's 56 percent. Among Roman Catholics, McAuliffe leads Cuccinelli by 52.9 percent to 35.4 percent. Both candidates are Catholic.

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