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A new poll from the Wason Center at Christopher Newport University (CNU) shows Democratic gubernatorial candidateTerry McAuliffe with a four-point lead among likely voters in Virginia. The results had a margin of error of 4.2%.

Since CNU’s previous poll in late August, Democratic leads have shrunk, and the contests for governor and lieutenant governor are now within this survey’s margin of error (+/- 4.2%). Independent voters have moved significantly toward all three Republican candidates. Republican voters are more enthusiastic about voting than Democrats, with 61% of Republican likely voters indicating they are very enthusiastic compared to 55% of Democrats.

More from the poll:

Democrat Terry McAuliffe maintains a narrow lead against Republican Glenn Youngkin, 49% to 45% in the race for governor. This represents a tightening in the race since our August 26 poll, which showed McAuliffe with a 9-point lead (50% to 41%).

Independent voters have shifted significantly, with Republican Youngkin gaining 11 points since late August (from 39% to 50%), while McAuliffe has lost ground among Independents (from44% to 41%). 

Youngkin’s support is currently driven by white voters (58%), male voters (48%) and those from the South/Southwest region (57%). Youngkin maintains 90% of his Republican base.

Former Governor McAuliffe has largely maintained his overall support at 49% (compared to 50% in late August). McAuliffe’s support is strongest among women (50%), Black voters (86%), voters age 44 and younger (55%) and voters in the Northern Virginia region (59%). McAuliffe shows 92% support among Democrats and has gained slight ground among self-identified Republicans (7% compared to 3% in August).

A small percentage of those surveyed (4%) have already voted in the governor’s race, with 1.3% indicating they voted for Youngkin and 2.7% for McAuliffe.

CNU also polled the lieutenant governor race: 

Democratic Del. Hala Ayala leads former Republican Del. Winsome Sears by 4 points (48% to 44%), with 8% undecided. The race has tightened significantly since CNU’s August 26 survey, which showed Ayala leading by 10 points. The race is now within this survey’s margin of error (+/- 4.2%). 

Since CNU’s August 26 poll, Sears has gained 10 points among Independents (from 40% to 50%), while Ayala’s support has dropped (from 49% to 41%). Both candidates have lost some ground among their base; Ayala currently has support from 88% of Democrats (compared to 95% previously), while Sears shows 87% support from Republicans (compared to 95%). Overall, Ayala’s support is driven primarily by voters age 44 and younger (55% to 41%), Black voters (85% to 5%) and women (50% to 40%), and an advantage in Northern Virginia (58%-35%). Sears’ strongest support comes from white voters (56% to 38%) and voters in the South/Southwest region (55% to 34%).

Attorney General: 

Democratic incumbent Mark Herring leads Republican Del. Jason Miyares, 49% to 43%, with 7% undecided. This represents a 6-point tightening of the race since CNU’s August survey, which showed Herring leading 53%-41%. Miyares has increased his support 11 points over the last month among Independents (from 38% to 49%), while Herring has lost support among Independents (from 49% to 41%). Herring continues to have support among the conventional Democratic base of women (49% to 42%), Black voters (81% to 6%) and younger voters (53% to 42%). Miyares shows an advantage over Herring among white voters (56% to 40%) and voters in the South/Southwest region (54% to 37%).

The results of this poll are based on 802 interviews of registered Virginia voters who are likely general election voters, including 347 on landline and 455 on cell phone, conducted September 27 to October 6, 2021. A likely general election voter is one who has voted in at least two of the last four general elections or is newly registered in the last 12 months and indicates they are enthusiastic and plan to vote (or already have) in the upcoming November 2 election.

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By vascope