Last week, Democrat Terry McAuliffe was polling seven points ahead of Republican Ken Cuccinelli in the race for governor. Now, new polling data has McAuliffe jumping out to a bigger lead.
According to the Washington Post poll released Monday night, McAuliffe now has an 11 point lead over Cuccinelli among likely voters – 53 percent to 42 percent.
Libertarian Robert Sarvis is polling with eight percent of the vote.
Most political analysts say a third party conservative candidate would take votes away from the Republicans.
But according to the Post’s poll, 53 percent of Sarvis supporters say if their candidate was not running, they would vote for McAuliffe and 42 percent would vote for Cuccinelli.
The closest major statewide race is for Cuccinelli’s current spot – Attorney General.
Among likely voters, 49 percent say they would vote for Democrat Mark Herring in the race. 46 percent of voters say they will go with Republican Mark Obenshain.
Numbers for the Lieutenant Governor’s race are mirroring the governor’s contest.
52 percent of likely voters say they will support Democrat Ralph Northam of Norfolk while 39 percent say they will vote for Chesapeake Republican E.W. Jackson.
Now, in no way are these races decided. Polling data can be like a pendulum and a five point swing for McAuliffe this week could swing back to Cuccinelli next week before Election Day. And with many polls running a five percent margin of error, that puts the Republicans in striking distance to keep the governor’s house.