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Poll: Tight races in Virginia for governor, AG

Wednesday - 7/17/2013, 12:42pm  ET

WASHINGTON -- Four months before the November election, the races for governor and attorney general in Virginia appear very tight.

A new poll from Public Policy Polling shows Democrat Terry McAuliffe with a four-point, 41-37 advantage over Republican Ken Cuccinelli in the battle for the governor's seat. Fifteen percent of voters are undecided and 7 percent support Libertarian Robert Sarvis.

Pollster Jim Williams says at 47 percent, Cuccinelli has a high "unfavorable" rating.

"Virginians aren't terribly thrilled with either candidate," he says, noting that McAuliffe's "unfavorable" rating is 36 percent.

In the race for attorney general, the poll shows Democrat Mark Herring ahead of Republican Mark Obenshain by two points.

The race for lieutenant governor appears more open, with Democrat Ralph Northam ahead of Republican E.W. Jackson 42 percent to 35 percent.

The poll was taken by phone from July 11 to July 14 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.

A second poll released Wednesday by Roanoke College shows different results.

That poll shows 27 percent of those questioned are undecided on who to vote for in the governor's race.

Thirty-seven percent said they would vote for Republican Ken Cuccinelli, while 31 percent favored Democrat Terry McAuliffe and 5 percent favored Libertarian Rob Sarvis.

This poll, in contrast to the Public Policy poll, also showed a tight race for lieutenant governor with Republican E.W. Jackson and Democrat Ralph Northam in a statistical dead heat 30 percent to 28 percent.

It should be noted that the Roanoke College Poll questioned fewer voters, and only 29 percent of them were from voter rich northern Virginia.

The Roanoke Poll had a margin of error of 4.3 percent either way.

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