NORFOLK -- With less than two weeks to go before the election, Democrat Terry McAuliffe holds a substantial lead over Republican Ken Cuccinelli in the race for Governor. McAuliffe was the choice of 44% of those surveyed by Old Dominion University's Social Science Research Center while the Republican Cuccinelli was the choice of 37%. Libertarian candidate Rob Sarvis was supported by 7% of likely voters while just under 9% were undecided. The statewide telephone poll of 630 'likely voters' has a 5% margin of error. A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday also showed McCauliffe with a 7 point lead (46%-39) and has Sarvis hitting 10%.
The ODU poll (view complete poll results here) also took the pulse of voters about 20 different issues, ranging from education spending to abortion. Political science professor Dr. Jesse Richman led the study for ODU. Richman says 'Poll results imply that the essential problem for Cuccinelli's campaign is issue positions that are out of step with the electorate. Of the twenty issues examined, McAuliffe's position is consistent with the plurality of responses on sixteen, while Cuccinelli's position is consistent with the electorate on only five.There were only two issues (charter schools and voter photo-identification) on which Cuccinelli and McAuliffe disagreed and a majority of the public supported Cuccinelli's position. '
One major problem for Cuccinelli is that only 79% of self-identified Republicans in the poll supported him. McAuliffe garners support from more than 90% of self-identified Democrats.
The final debate between McAuliffe and Cuccinelli is set for Thursday night at 7 PM on the Virginia Tech campus.