Virginia Poll Shows Dead Head Between Cuccinelli, McAuliffe

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 9, 2013   |   5:12PM   |   Richmond, VA

In the race for governor in Virginia, a new poll shows a dead heat between pro-life Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and pro-abortion candidate Terry McAuliffe.

PPP’s first Virginia poll of 2013 finds Terry McAuliffe leading Ken Cuccinelli 46-41. The race will likely close in the future as Republicans coalesce around Cuccinelli. As the Democratic polling firm PPP reports:

Even among Republicans there are significant doubts about him- only 48% see him favorably with a much higher than normal 23% of voters within his own party seeing him negatively.

That pause about Cuccinelli among Republicans is a big part of why McAuliffe has this early 5 point lead. 11% of Republicans say they would cross over to support McAuliffe if Cuccinelli was the nominee, compared to only 6% of Democrats who say they would vote for Cuccinelli. McAuliffe also has a 43/39 lead with independents, who give Cuccinelli a 31/46 favorability spread.

McAuliffe is essentially functioning as a generic Democratic candidate at this point. Only 51% of voters are familiar enough with him to have an opinion and those who have one are pretty evenly divided about him with 25% rating him favorably and 26% unfavorably. His early lead has more to do with voters disliking Cuccinelli than actually liking him.

Usually the party that won the Presidential election loses the next Gubernatorial election in Virginia…but at least at this early stage it looks like Cuccinelli’s unpopularity could be enough to overcome that strong historical trend.

Cuccinelli is strongly pro-life and helped pave the way for the state health board to finally crack down on abortion centers in Virginia after reports of shocking abuses at abortion facilities — including the remains of aborted unborn babies in freezers and uncleaned blood splattered on operating room tables.

He said in an opinion that the state government can institute the regulations by executive order but McDonnell said he wanted the legislature to put the regulations in place. In his opinion, Cuccinelli provided legal guidance for the state Board of Health and said more limits can be placed on abortion businesses in Virginia when it comes to healthy and safety standards.

The pro-life advocate also drew praise for taking on Obamacare, which funds abortions and prompts concerns about rationing, in court.

“We often forget the most recognized words from our Declaration of Independence,” Cuccinelli has said. “’We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator – their Creator – with certain unalienable Rights, [of] Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.’ And that ‘Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed’. We don’t have any other rights if we don’t have that first one.”

McAuliffe, an abortion advocate who was the national party chair for Democrats, has frequently pushed abortion.

In July 2004, McAuliffe unveiled a new campaign to be headed up by NARAL president Kate Michelman called the Campaign to Save the Court. The goal of the campaign was to scare up pro-abortion votes for John Kerry by telling voters President Bush would appoint more judges to overturn Roe v. Wade if given another term.

After the Kerry campaign loss, McAuliffe became the head of the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign and was replaced by pro-abortion former Vermont governor Howard Dean.



In February 2007, the Catholic Diocese of Syracuse canceled a planned speech McAuliffe had prepared because of his abortion views.

McAuliffe was slated to discuss a book he’d written on his involvement in politics at his high school alma mater, Bishop Ludden High School but officials with the Catholic church said the talk would be inappropriate because McAuliffe is a strong abortion supporter.

The diocese cited an interview McAuliffe gave to a nationally syndicated radio program saying he favors abortion “no question about it.”