Poll: McAuliffe leads Cuccinelli in gubernatorial race - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Poll: McAuliffe leads Cuccinelli in gubernatorial race

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

A new poll shows Democrat Terry McAuliffe with a slim lead over Republican Ken Cuccinelli in the first poll of likely voters in November's gubernatorial election.

McAuliffe holds a 48 to 42 percent lead, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday morning.

The poll also ranked which traits are most important to voters in candidates. Honesty was the most important quality, followed by experience and understanding people's problems. Neither candidate was seen as overly honest and trustworthy, while Cuccinelli was seen as more experienced. However, Cuccinelli was seen as not understanding the "problems of people like you."

"Democrat Terry McAuliffe is up 16 percentage points among voters who say empathy or understanding their problems is extremely important, while Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has a 23-point advantage among those who say the right kind of experience is extremely important," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.  "It's a tossup among voters who say honesty is extremely important.  Voters care more about empathy than experience which helps explain McAuliffe's lead."

Voters plan to vote largely along party lines, according to the poll. However, McAuliffe saw large leads among women and black voters.

A large number of polled Virginia voters also said McAuliffe spends more time attacking Cuccinelli rather than explaining what he would do as governor.

Click here to see the full poll results: http://bit.ly/1bSXLn2 

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