Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican hopeful in the race for Virginia‚??s governorship, is leading Democratic challenger Terry McAuliffe by a small margin, yet more than a quarter of VA voters are still undecided.
The Roanoke College poll reported Cuccinelli ahead of McAuliffe, 37-31 percent. 27 percent of the registered voters said they are still unsure of whom they will cast their ballots for come November.
Both candidates would be wise to focus their campaigns on jobs, as unemployment and the economy rank as the most important issues in voters‚?? minds, coming in respectively at 24 and 20 percent. Transportation and education are other hot button issues.
Neither candidate remains unscathed in what is being called one of the most negative races ever.¬†Cuccinelli, who currently serves as VA‚??s attorney general, has been painted by many on the left as a radical conservative, ¬†in particular for his views on social issues. The majority of voters (61 percent), however, said, ‚??a candidate’s economic positions were more important in determining their vote than positions on social issues(17 percent).‚?Ě
Cuccinelli will also have to contend with being mired by current Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell’s growing ethics scandals. McDonnell’s approval ratings are plummeting, and some fear Cuccinelli will be labeled guilty by association.
McAuliffe, a Clinton groupie, also has his critics. He is being accused of violating rules governing campaign contributions, outsourcing Virginia jobs, supporting the war on coal, and a smattering of other questionable behaviors.
Some are predicting that the road to the White House will begin in Virginia. If that’s the case, it’s way too early to tell.