Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe has an 8-point lead over GOP Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, according to the latest poll.
The NBC4/NBC News/Marist poll
conducted October 13-15 found that 46 percent of likely voters support McAuliffe compared to 38 percent who support Cuccinelli. Nine percent back libertarian Robert Sarvis.
In a two-way race, McAuliffe's lead increases to 52 percent compared to 43 percent for Cuccinelli.
"Just when Cuccinelli needed to start closing the gap against McAuliffe, the government shutdown became a huge roadblock," said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, which conducted the poll of 1,082 registered Virginia voters.
The same poll last month
gave McAuliffe a 5-point lead, suggesting the attack ads
launched by the Cuccinelli campaign have had little, if any, impact on the Democratic front-runner.
McAuliffe's 8-point advantage is similar to those he has enjoyed in polls going back a month.
The new poll indicates that much of McAuliffe's advantage is due to his support among women, 52 percent of whom back him compared to 32 percent for Cuccinelli.
Those findings reinforce the results of a recent Washington Post poll
that gave McAuliffe a 24-point lead among women.
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