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Poll: Chase leads Cox in GOP bid, McAuliffe ahead of other Democratic candidates in Virginia governor race

WVEC-TV Norfolk logo WVEC-TV Norfolk 2/19/2021 13News Now Staff
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Voters in Virginia are mostly undecided in big races for Democrats and Republicans vying for nominations for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general, a new survey from the Wason Center for Civic Leadership at Christopher Newport University shows.

In the Democratic primary, almost half of Democratic voters are undecided at 49%, according to the poll.

Former governor Terry McAuliffe has a head start with 26%. Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax sits at 12%, Jennifer Carrol Foy and Richmond Sen. Jennifer McClellan are at 4% each. Del. Lee Carter has 1%.

“New Democratic faces and priorities have emerged since Terry McAuliffe was governor,” said Wason Center Academic Director Dr. Quentin Kidd. 

“He opens with a head start, but he’s a long way from closing the deal.”

The poll shows that 55% of Republican voters are also undecided in this crowded race.

In the bid for the Republication nomination, controversial Chesterfield Sen. Amanda Chase leads with 17%, followed by former Virginia House Speaker Kirk Cox with 10%. Pete Snyder sits at 6%. 

“The underlying friction between Chase’s fervent Trumpism and Cox’s Reagan Republican credentials could crack the party and open the door for Snyder or another contender,” said Wason Center Research Director Dr. Rebecca Bromley-Trujillo.

The poll also highlighted other races in Virginia:

Lt. Governor race

No Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor has made a significant impression on Democratic voters, with 78% undecided. 

For the Republican lieutenant governor nomination, most GOP voters, 71%, remain undecided.

Attorney General race

In the Democratic primary, Attorney General Mark Herring holds a lead at 42% over Norfolk Del. Jerrauld “Jay” Jones who has 3%. Half of Democrats (50%) remain undecided.

In the Republican race for attorney general, 68% of voters are undecided. Virginia Beach lawyer Chuck Smith leads the contest with 10%.

The survey results are based on interviews of 1,005 Virginia registered voters, conducted Jan. 31-Feb. 14, 2021.  

To read the full report visit the Wason Center's website.

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