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Most Virginia voters still undecided in primaries; McAuliffe, Chase lead party gubernatorial nominations

Amanda Chase
Posted at 4:22 PM, Feb 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-20 16:22:41-05

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Most Virginia voters are still undecided when it comes to the Commonwealth's party nominations for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general based on a survey from CNU.

According to a survey released Friday by the Wason Center for Civic Leadership at Christopher Newport University, former governor Terry McAuliffe leads among Democratic voters with 26% and Chesterfield Sen. Amanda Chase leads the Republican side with 17% in the primary contest for governor.

A majority of Republican voters are still undecided by 55% and almost half of Democratic voters are undecided (49%).

According to the survey in the primaries, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax follows McAullife's lead by 12%, former Prince William Del. Jennifer Carrol Foy and Richmond Sen. Jennifer McClellan at 4% each and Manassas Del. Lee Carter (1%).

“New Democratic faces and priorities have emerged since Terry McAuliffe was governor,” said Wason Center Academic Director Dr. Quentin Kidd. “He opens with a head start, but he’s a long way from closing the deal.”

On the Republican governor ticket, the survey reports Chase is followed by former Virginia House Speaker Kirk Cox (10%) and entrepreneur Pete Snyder (6%).

“The underlying friction between Chase’s fervent Trumpism and Cox’s Reagan Republican credentials could crack the party and open the door for Snyder or another contender,” said Wason Center Research Director Dr. Rebecca Bromley-Trujillo.

The survey finds no Democratic candidate in the crowded field for lieutenant governor has made a significant impression on voters, with almost four out of five Democrats undecided (78%).

Virginia Beach Del. Glenn Davis (8%) leads the field for the Republican lieutenant governor nomination, but most Republican voters are also undecided (71%).

Attorney General Mark Herring (42%) holds an imposing lead over Norfolk Del. Jerrauld “Jay” Jones (3%), but half of Democrats remain undecided (50%), according to the survey.

Virginia Beach lawyer Chuck Smith (10%) leads the race for the Republican attorney general nomination, but two-thirds of Republican voters are undecided (68%).

The results of this survey are based on interviews of 1,005 Virginia registered voters, conducted between Jan. 31 to Feb. 14.

For the full report click here.