Poll Suggests Shutdown has Hurt GOP Candidates (Daily Press)

daily press CNU poll suggests shutdown has hurt GOP candidates

By Michael Welles Shapiro, Daily Press

October 9, 2013

The three Democrats running for statewide office in Virginia may have gotten a bump since the start of a federal government shutdown that most voters blame on Republicans in Washington.

Prior to the Oct. 1 shutdown, Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, was leading Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli by five percentage points in a Hampton University poll and seven points in a poll conducted by the University of Mary Washington.

In the first post-shutdown poll, which Christopher Newport University in Newport News released Tuesday, McAuliffe led Cuccinelli 47 percent to 38 percent among likely voters — nine percentage points......

Stephen Farnsworth, a political scientist at the University of Mary Washington, said it's too early to tell if Tuesday's polls are statistical outliers or show the federal shutdown dragging down GOP candidates.

But, he said, "Over the past month it does look like McAuliffe has gained some ground in this race."

The reasons for that, Farnsworth said, are three-fold: "He's able to spend more money on advertising than Cuccinelli, Gov. (Bob) McDonnell's legal problems continue to be a problem for Cuccinelli, and the government shutdown is tarnishing the Republican brand in this state."

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