Democratic challenger Terry McAuliffe now has a 7-point lead over Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia's gubernatorial race, according to a new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey
The poll of 998 likely Virginia voters conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday shows McAuliffe with 45 percent support to his opponent's 38 percent.
Seven percent of the respondents prefer another candidate, while 10 percent are unsure.
McAuliffe has been leading for some time, but by a narrower margin. The businessman and former Democratic National Committee chairman had a 44 percent to 41 percent lead in a June poll, and only 3 percent of the others preferred another candidate.
"The increasingly visible presence of Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis in the governor’s race helps explain the growing number of voters who now prefer a third-party option," said Rasmussen in announcing the results.
Cuccinelli's favorability ratings also are dipping. Just 40 percent of voters have a favorable opinion of the attorney general, compared to 50 percent in June. However, his unfavorability rating was 51 percent this time around, a 13-point jump from June's ratings.
In comparison, 45 percent of the voters view McAuliffe favorably, which is nearly unchanged. His unfavorability ratings went up to, from 37 percent to the current 43 percent.
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