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Posted June 6, 2012 | comments Leave a comment

Poll: Cuccinelli leads for governor, Senate race tight

By Jeb Inge -- jinge@nvdaily.com

A new poll has Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II beating Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling by a 3-1 margin in next year's Republican gubernatorial primary. That same poll predicts a much closer Senate race between former governors Tim Kaine and George Allen.

A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday shows Cuccinelli with a 51 percent lead over Bolling's 15 percent in a 2013 GOP gubernatorial contest.

According to the poll, Cuccinelli holds big leads in all Republican demographic groups. Among all respondents, Cuccinelli's job approval rating leads Bolling's 46 to 36 percent, but when only Republicans are polled. Cuccinelli's lead jumps to 70 percent to Bolling's 48.

"It is early in the campaign, but at this point, Cuccinelli holds a very, very strong position in the race for governor," Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, states in the release.

The poll showed a much closer race for the U.S. Senate between Democratic nominee Tim Kaine and presumptive Republican George Allen.

The poll shows Kaine leading Allen 44 percent to 43 percent. The new numbers show Kaine losing roughly three percentage points since the poll was last conducted on March 20.

The closeness of the race has not changed. Kaine and Allen were only separated by one percentage point when the poll was first conducted in June 2011. A Washington Post poll in May found both candidates tied.

"The Senate race is so close that whatever small margin of victory occurs could well be based on whether President Barack Obama or Gov. Mitt Romney has coattails," Brown states.

The most important statistic to both candidates remains the 10 percent of undecided voters.

"With 10 percent of voters undecided, each man has the opportunity to win the seat," Brown states.

Allen still must clear the primary election on June 12. He is challenged by former Virginia Tea Party Patriots head Jamie Radtke, Chesapeake minister E.W. Jackson and Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William). Kaine is running unopposed.

Gov. Bob McDonnell scored a 53 percent approval rating in the poll -- down from a 62 percent high in Oct. 2011. But according to Brown, McDonnell's approval rating is still high enough to put him in the gubernatorial top tier.

"Although Gov. McDonnell's numbers have come down from their highs in the 60s, he still ranks among the nation's more popular governors," Brown states in the release.

The legislature's approval rating is up three points to 41 percent. Sixty percent of Republicans approve of the legislature to Democrats' 29 percent and independents' 34 percent. Among respondents, 44 percent disapprove with 16 percent unsure or not answering, according to the poll.

The Quinnipiac poll surveyed 1,282 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percentage points.

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