Wason Center Releases New Democratic Primary Poll the Day Before Early Voting Begins


Delegate Elizabeth Guzman (D-Prince William) withdrew from the race for the Democratic nomination for Lieutenant Governor after campaign finance reports revealed she was trailing financially, sixth out of seven among the Democratic candidates. But a new Christopher Newport University/Wason Center Poll released Thursday shows that Guzman was polling in second place for the nomination even as she dropped out of the race to focus on her reelection as delegate. The poll places Delegate Sam Rasoul (D-Roanoke) at the head of the race for Lieutenant Governor with 12 percent, Guzman came in second with 4 percent, and 64 percent of voters were undecided. None of the other candidates scored more than two percent.

The poll also showed Terry McAuliffe leading the gubernatorial pack with 47 percent support. The poll was conducted from April 11-20 through landlines and cell phones of likely Democratic primary voters, with a 3.9 percent margin of error.

As with the Public Policy Polling results released last week, the Wason Center poll credits McAuliffe’s lead to high name recognition combined with good favorable/unfavorable ratings. 28 percent of voters were undecided. Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax also has high name recognition, but is hurt by a 27 percent to 26 percent favorable/unfavorable rating, and earned eight percent support. Behind him are Senator Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) with six percent support, Jennifer Carrol Foy at five percent, and Delegate Lee Carter (D-Manassas) at one percent.

“Name recognition is a big head start, but it’s better when voters’ impression is mostly favorable,” Wason Center Academic Director Dr. Quentin Kidd said.

Attorney General Mark Herring leads his race for reelection with 42 percent support; his opponent Delegate Jay Jones (D-Norfok) has 18 percent, but 34 percent of voters are undecided.

“Notably, Jones’s support has grown while Herring’s support has not changed since our February poll (42 percent Herring to 3 percent Jones, 50 percent undecided),” the Wason Center press release states.

Additionally, 83 percent of the people surveyed said they were enthusiastic to vote in the primary.

Early-in person voting in the primary begins Friday, April 23.

Wason Center Research Director Dr. Rebecca Bromley-Trujillo said, “This gubernatorial field is the most diverse in the history of the Commonwealth, and that has drawn a great deal of interest in the race.”

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Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and the Star News Digital Network.  Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Terry Mcauliffe” by Joint Base Langley-Eustis.

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