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Monmouth Poll: Virginia Governor Race Deadlocked

Monmouth Poll: Virginia Governor Race Deadlocked
Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie (Andre Teague/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 17 October 2017 04:18 PM

The two leading candidates in the campaign for the next governor of Virginia are neck-and-neck in the latest poll from Monmouth University.

Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie and Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam have split voters almost equally, while Libertarian Cliff Hyra trails far behind in the single digits.

  • Gillespie: 48 percent.
  • Northam: 47 percent.
  • Hyra: 3 percent.
  • Undecided: 3 percent.

In Monmouth's poll last month, Northam held a slight lead over Gillespie, but polls from Christopher Newport University and Roanoke College confirm the closeness of the race.

"This has never been more than a five-point race in Monmouth's polling, and that means either candidate has a very real shot at winning this thing," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. "We have seen lots of little movement that has either helped or hurt each candidate but with neither one being able to break out."

Northam picked up votes in the northern part of the state, while Gillespie has extended his lead in the more conservative western region.

"In last week's debate, Northam made a specific appeal to voters in the western part of the state on issues such as education and healthcare; it doesn't appear to have worked," Murray said.

East Virginia, where Northam hails from and has recently gone for Democratic candidates for Senate and governor, is now leaning slightly toward the Republican candidate, same as the moderate central Virginia region.

"As the northern and western parts of Virginia revert to their partisan norms, the battle for swing voters will occur right down the I-95 corridor," Murray added.

Gillespie might have found a winning strategy in striking at Northam over crime in the area, where the Democrat is seen as weaker than the Republican candidate on the issue.

"Painting Northam as soft on crime, especially with the MS-13 gang spots, appears to have been effective," said Murray. "This is a game of inches right now, so any small advantage counts."

Monmouth surveyed 408 likely voters who reside in Virginia by phone from Oct. 12-16, with a margin of error of +/- 4.9 percentage points.

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The latest poll from Monmouth University shows the two leading candidates in the campaign for the next governor of Virginia are neck-and-neck.
monmouth, virginia, governor, election
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2017-18-17
Tuesday, 17 October 2017 04:18 PM
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