PPP's first look at the race for Governor of Virginia since January finds that as voters get to know the candidates better...more are becoming undecided. That's not the normal trend, but it's also not normal to have an election where voters dislike both candidates five months out.
That's the case here. Terry McAuliffe is not popular, with 29% of voters holding a favorable opinion of him to 33% with a negative one. But we find that Ken Cuccinelli is even more unpopular, with 44% of voters rating him unfavorably to just 32% with a positive opinion. As a result we find McAuliffe leading Cuccinelli by a 5 point margin, 42/37. McAuliffe also led by 5 points on our January poll, but the share of voters who are undecided has spiked from 13% at the start of the year now up to 21%.
Cuccinelli has a big problem with independent voters. Only 25% have a favorable opinion of him to 51% with a negative one, and he trails McAuliffe by 11 points with them at 39/28. Democrats are also a little bit more sold on McAuliffe with 82% supporting him right now, while 78% of Republicans are committed to Cuccinelli.
Shifting gears to the Lieutenant Governor's race, despite the all national media attention he received last week EW Jackson is still pretty much a blank slate to voters in Virginia. 71% of voters have no opinion about him one way or the other. He is unpopular among folks who are familiar with him as 9% rate him positively to 20% with an unfavorable opinion. In hypothetical match ups with Democrats Aneesh Chopra and Ralph Northam he trails by margins of 36/29 and 35/29 respectively.
We polled the Democratic primaries for Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General in Virginia by popular demand, but the candidates are still too unknown and the voters too undecided for the results to tell us a whole lot.
Things are even more up in the air when it comes to the race for Attorney General. In that race 59% of voters are undecided. Mark Herring, who has 27% name recognition, leads Justin Fairfax, who has 19% name recognition, by a 22/19 margin.
Most voters will be tuning into these races for the first time over the next two weeks and that really means just about anything could happen as they start to familiarize themselves more with the candidates.
A plurality of voters are undecided in the general election match ups for Attorney General. Republican Mark Obenshain is up 32/30 on Fairfax, but trails Herring 33/32.
The bottom line on all of these Virginia races is that there's a long way to go.
Full results here