In a Virginia governor’s race where voters on both sides of the aisle say they are not happy with their candidate, Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s lead in pre-election polls continues to grow and some political insiders now feel he may help others in his party on the ballot in lower level races.
The latest Roanoke College poll shows McAuliffe with a 15-point lead over ethics-challenged and scandal-ridden Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.
“This election is shaping up to be a referendum on Cuccinelli,” Harry Wilson, director of the Institute for Policy and Opinion Research at the college told Reuters Wednesday.
Cuccinelli’s unfavorable rating is now at 52 percent among likely voters and his ties to the increasingly unpopular Tea Party are dragging him down even more.
In the lieutenant governor’s race, Democrat Ralph Northam holds a strong lead over ultra right-wing Tea Party favorite E.W. Jackson — 48 percet to 32 percent.
If the numbers hold going into the final weekend before the election, the race could shape up to be a Democratic rout. A Washington Post-ABT-SRBI poll released Monday shows McAuliffe leading Cuccinelli 51-39 percent. A Quinnipiac University polls shows a tighter race, with just four points separating McAuliffe and Cuccinelli. Quinnipiac’s poll, however, surveyed more self-identified Republicans than Democrats in a spread that may not reflect likely voters.
Republicans, of course, are citing the Quinnipiac poll and playing down the Washington Post and Roanoke College surveys.
The election in less than a week will show which poll is closer to the truth.