McAuliffe widens lead in Va. governor’s race

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McAuliffe is up by 7 points over Cuccinelli in a survey by the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling released on Thursday. That is 1 point more than in a Quinnipiac University poll released last week and 3 points more than in a similar PPP poll from July.

In the newest poll, which was conducted on behalf of the League of Conservation Voters, McAuliffe drew 44 percent, while 37 percent went to Cuccinelli and 9 percent support libertarian Robert Sarvis.

Both candidates are viewed unfavorably by voters in a race increasingly focused on scandal. Cuccinelli is fending off questions over personal gifts from a campaign donor who also gave major gifts to Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R). Meanwhile, McAuliffe faces scrutiny over a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation of a company he founded.

More voters have an unfavorable view of Cuccinelli that McAuliffe, according to the PPP poll.

Fifty-four percent had an unfavorable view of Cuccinelli, while 35 percent had a favorable one. For McAuliffe, the gap is smaller: 48 percent had an unfavorable view while 36 percent had a favorable view.

The poll was conducted Aug. 27 among 500 likely voters.