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The likely candidates for governor campaigned on opposite sides of Virginia today, the Republican in Bristol and Democrat in Norfolk. Meanwhile, a new poll finds Terry McAuliffe edging clearly ahead of Ken Cuccinelli.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli promised in a coal country campaign stop Thursday that Virginia would push to explore for offshore oil and gas and focus on keeping the coal industry strong if he is elected governor.
In Norfolk, Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe said protecting women’s rights to have an abortion was a vital issue.
And a new poll Thursday showed McAuliffe edging ahead of Cuccinelli, breaking a trend from other recent polls.
The Quinnipiac University poll found 43 percent of those surveyed said they would vote for McAuliffe, compared with 38 percent for Cuccinelli. The difference exceeds the poll’s margin of error, and marks a change from a series of recent polls that variously put Cuccinelli ahead or say the race is even.
But the poll found many Virginians — 17 percent — are undecided. And only fairly small percentages view the candidates favorably: 22 percent for McAuliffe and 31 percent for Cuccinelli. Those ratings haven’t budged much since January.
“At this point, neither candidate sets the electorate’s heart aflutter,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of Quinnipiac’s Polling Institute.
On Thursday, Cuccinelli continued to push his theme of job creation, while McAuliffe focused on women’s issues.
“If we want Virginia to remain competitive we need to be providing women with access to quality affordable health care. We can’t let politicians pushing divisive ideological agendas put up walls around Virginia,” McAuliffe said.
Cuccinelli has been a strong opponent of abortion and sued to overturn the federal Affordable Care Act, which seeks to expand coverage for the uninsured. He has said that a legislative panel to consider expanding Medicaid, as provided for by the law, is unconstitutional.
The attorney general pitched his energy plan as an “all-of-the-above” approach that would encourage development of traditional fuels as well as alternative sources, saying it would create jobs and promote growth.
He said he would prevent excessive energy taxes and oppose what he called federal overreach in environmental regulation and energy policy.
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