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McAuliffe Narrowly Leads Cuccinelli In Fight For Virginia's Top Office

The latest Quinnnipiac University poll shows Democratic contender Terry McAuliffe with a six percentage point lead over Republican Ken Cuccinelli in the race for governor in Virginia.

The former DNC chairman leads the state's attorney general 48-42 percent the survey released this morning. In a similar poll conducted in May, McAuliffe's lead was five percent.

McAuliffe's lead is just outside the poll's margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage point. Trustworthiness was the respondents' top concern, as 93 percent of respondents ranked it as very or extremely important to them. Forty-two percent considered Cuccinelli trustworthy while 43 percent said he's not. Thirty-nine percent found McAuliffe trustworthy compared to 36 percent who said he isn't.

Cuccinelli did beat out McAuliffe on one measure: experience. According to the poll, 56 percent of Virginians say the attorney general is experienced for the commonwealth's top job, while only 46 percent say the same for McAuliffe.

The poll did not quiz voters on Robert Sarvis, a Libertarian who will appear on the ballot in November. While he has polled as high as seven percent, only two percent of voters surveyed by Quinnnipiac University said they would opt for "someone else" in the gubernatorial race.

In two other races—lieutenant governor and attorney general—Virginians generally agreed on one point: they don't know much about the candidates. In the lieutenant governor's race, Republican E.W. Jackson and Democrat Ralph Northan are unknown quantities to 75 and 87 percent of respondents, respectively.

In the attorney general race, Republican Mark Obenshain got an 82 percent "don't know enough," compared to 88 percent for Democrat Mark Herring.

NPR

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