Rasmussen Reports released a poll on Friday that shows Democrat Terry McAuliffe leads Republican Ken Cuccinelli by seven points, 45% to 38%, in the race to become Virginia’s next governor.
With the election now only two months away, Cuccinelli appears to be unable overcome the sizable lead McAuliffe established during the summer by hammering him on social issues with negative television ads.
Cuccinelli’s prospects are not helped by the presence on the ballot of Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis, who has been polling in the 5% to 10% range recently. Rasmussen Reports did not poll Sarvis by name but did show that 7% of Virginians prefer another unnamed candidate.
This latest Rasmussen Poll was conducted of 998 likely Virginia voters over two days, September 3 and September 4. On the first day of polling, the Cuccinelli campaign launched a well-received ad, “Justice,” that described the current Attorney General’s successful efforts to exonerate Thomas Haynesworth, a man who served 27 years in prison for two rapes he did not commit.
The Cuccinelli campaign hoped that this new ad would lessen the high negatives their candidate has with many voters, but the poll released today suggests the message has not yet made its impact.