McAuliffe Has Commanding Lead in Primary

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PPP’s newest Virginia poll continues to find Terry McAuliffe with a strong advantage in the primary for Governor. McAuliffe is at 42% with the rest of the Democratic hopefuls in single digits. Jennifer Carroll Foy and Jennifer McClellan each get 8%, Justin Fairfax 7%, and Lee Carter comes in at 4%. 29% of voters remain undecided.

McAuliffe’s lead is pretty broad across different demographic groups. He leads with 45% among African Americans and 42% with white voters as well. He has commanding leads in each of the state’s major media markets as well, coming in at 49% in Norfolk, 42% in Washington, and 37% in both Richmond and Roanoke.

McAuliffe has 68% name recognition and is seen positively by 59% of primary voters to only 9% who have a negative view of him. Fairfax is the next best known candidate with 51% name recognition but feelings about him are considerably more evenly divided with 26% seeing him favorably and 25% unfavorably. None of the sitting legislators running are very well known yet. McClellan has 28% name recognition, Foy’s is 23%, and Carter’s is 16%. Their hope will have to be that they can cut into McAuliffe’s advantage as voters become more familiar with them.

There is plenty of time left for things to change in the state of the primary race. But none of the McAuliffe alternatives are getting any traction yet or setting themselves apart from the rest of the field to turn it into more of a one on one type race where he might be more vulnerable. McAuliffe’s popularity and the divided opposition continue to make him a prohibitive favorite for the nomination.

PPP interviewed 526 likely Democratic primary voters on April 12th and 13th and the margin of error is +/-4.3%. Full results here



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