Hot on the heels of yesterday’s QPac poll showing Ken Cuccinelli and Terry McAuliffe within the margin of error (McAuliffe +3), a new Roanoke College poll has been released showing the race is even tighter with McAuliffe holding just a single-point lead, 37% to 36%. As the month of September has progressed, the spread between the two candidates has shrunk considerably.
|Poll||Date||Sample||McAuliffe (D)||Cuccinelli (R)||Spread|
|RCP Average||9/3 – 9/16||—||42.2||38.0||McAuliffe +4.2|
|Roanoke College*||9/9 – 9/15||874 LV||37||36||McAuliffe +1|
|Quinnipiac*||9/9 – 9/15||1005 LV||44||41||McAuliffe +3|
|Harper (R)*||9/15 – 9/16||779 LV||42||37||McAuliffe +5|
|Purple Strategies||9/6 – 9/10||800 LV||43||38||McAuliffe +5|
|Rasmussen Reports||9/3 – 9/4||998 LV||45||38||McAuliffe +7|
In fact, if you only look at the polls completed in just the past week, the 4.2% average lead for McAuliffe drops to 3%. This comes AFTER McAuliffe wasted $8 million advertising during the month of August to try and paint Cuccinelli as a wacko extremist.
The recent spate of stories in the Washington Post and elsewhere are reinforcing the public perception that Cuccinelli is a serious, trustworthy and competent policy wonk while McAuliffe has an almost total disregard for the details and is by and large just winging it. In fact, the Post ran ANOTHER such story today:
The speeches [at the Richmond forum on education and the conomy] themselves fed into the narrative that emerged from the TechPAC flap: that McAuliffe is breezy while Cuccinelli grasps the details and gravity of the job. Both candidates had 45 minutes to address the group. Cuccinelli gave a 39- minute address heavy on wonky details. McAuliffe gave his standard 16-minute stump speech.
It seems that the more people (and even the media) pay attention, the more they realize that Cuccinelli has a firm grasp of the issues and would serve as a good steward of the Commonwealth while McAuliffe, by contrast, is a loose cannon on a rolling deck.