Raleigh, N.C. – Virginia is unique in its one-term limit on its governors, and if current numbers hold, the GOP may see its four-year moment in control of the entire state end this fall. Likely Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe leads likely Republican opponent Ken Cuccinelli by five points (46-41) in PPP’s first 2013 poll of the state.
Cuccinelli, currently the state’s Attorney General, has much higher name identification than McAuliffe, who failed to get his party’s nomination four years ago, despite his establishment support and fundraising advantage. Only about half of voters say they are familiar with McAuliffe, but almost three-quarters are with their A.G. If name recognition is neutralized at this point, McAuliffe’s lead jumps to 13 points (52-39), suggesting he could do even better as he begins to officially campaign for office.