Ken Cuccinelli has cut Terry McAuliffe’s lead in half this past week to just 4% according to the latest Quinnipiac poll. Last week, the Q-pac poll had McAuliffe leading the race 46-39%. The brand new poll now has the race at 45-41%. The margin of error of +/- 2.9% with a 4% lead makes this race a dead heat.
This poll had a much larger likely voter sample than the WashPo poll – 1,182 compared to the Post’s 762. Without Libertarian Robert Sarvis in the race, McAuliffe’s lead drops to 2%, 47-45%.
Could this be a reflection of the lack of voter intensity for McAuliffe that we spotlighted yesterday? Well, that seems to be what the Q-pac pollsters are indicating may be happening.
“State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is nipping at Terry McAuliffe’s heels as the race to be Virginia’s next governor enters the final week of the campaign,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “It goes without saying that turnout is the key to this race and the harshly negative tone of the campaign is the kind that often turns off voters.”
“With the race this close, the final decision by the roughly one in 10 voters who are supporting Libertarian Robert Sarvis has become even more critical. Nationally, third-party candidates often lose support in the end as voters enter the voting booth and back someone they consider the lesser of two evils. Only six in 10 Sarvis supporters say they definitely will vote for him. Almost nine in 10 McAuliffe and Cuccinelli backers are committed.
Ken is closing strong as he always does. What does McAuliffe do at the end? Well, let’s look at the closing days of his 2009 primary run:
- Terry McAuliffe spent $68.25 for each vote on the Democratic primary compared to Creigh Deeds who spent $14.49 for each vote.
- Less than a month before the 2009 Democratic primary, McAuliffe led Creigh Deeds and Brian Moran by double-digits.
- McAuliffe lost by 23% in the primary.
Don’t be surprised if that 4% lead evaporates over the next week. The McAuliffe collapse is under way…