Adding what could be a last bit of noise to the polling signal, Christopher Newport’s latest snapshot of the gubernatorial race is out and it shows Democrat Terry McAuliffe with a seven percentage point lead over Republican Ken Cuccinelli. Libertarian Robert Sarvis clocks in at 10 percent.
The star of this poll, which has a three-point margin of error, is Mr. Sarvis. CNU contends his supporters are casting protest votes:
A strong majority of Sarvis voters say that their support of the Libertarian is a form of protest against McAuliffe and Cuccinelli. Nearly seven out of 10 (68%) agree that they are lodging a protest by supporting Sarvis, while 29% say they are not lodging a protest. And if Sarvis’ name were not on the ballot next Tuesday, where would his supporters go? More than a third (37%) say they would vote for Cuccinelli, and nearly the same amount (38%) say they would not vote. Only 17% say they would vote for McAuliffe, suggesting Sarvis is hurting Cuccinelli more than McAuliffe.
One could read the Post poll from earlier in the week and conclude that the bulk of Terry McAuliffe’s voters (64 percent) are lodging a protest, too … except their ire is aimed at Mr. Cuccinelli.
Only Cuccinelli’s voters appear to be voting for someone (50 percent in the Post poll).
There are other data points. In the lieutenant governor’s race, Ralph Northam leads E.W. Jackson 51-35. In the attorney general’s race, Mark Obenshain holds a two point lead over Mark Herring. This is the race to watch.
And for those wondering, the poll’s partisan split is 31R/30D/33I/6 “other.” In its last poll, CNU had the split 37D/31R/28I/4 “other.”
Norman Leahy blogs at Bearing Drift. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.