A little under two months before Virginia voters will elect a new governor, a new poll released Thursday shows former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe with a 5-point edge over Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.
The automated poll from Purple Strategies shows the McAuliffe claiming the support of 43 percent of likely commonwealth voters, while Cuccinelli trails with 38 percent support. Virginia women prefer McAuliffe by a wide margin, 50 percent to 32 percent, while Cuccinelli leads among men, 45 percent to 35 percent.
As other polls have shown, Purple's findings indicated that neither candidate is particularly well-liked among Virginia voters. Only 24 percent said they have a favorable opinion of McAuliffe, compared with 39 percent who said they view him unfavorably. But an even larger percentage has an unfavorable view of Cuccinelli. Twenty-nine percent said they view the Republican favorably, while nearly half — 49 percent — said they have an unfavorable opinion of him.
Most polls in recent weeks have shown McAuliffe asserting himself as the favorite in the race, including one last week from the GOP's favorite pollster, Rasmussen, that showed the Democrat with a 7-point lead. The PollTracker Average reflects this trend and currently shows McAuliffe with a lead of more than six points.