There will be many political contests in 2014 that will be decided in part due to the fallout and anger over Republicans closing down the federal government.
But the first state to show evidence of that problem for the GOP will take place in Virginia in November.
Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe has opened up a significant lead, one that will be almost impossible to erase for Republican Ken Cuccinelli in the Virginia governor’s race. As a backdrop to the contentious race comes broad public disapproval of the federal government shutdown among the electorate in the Old Dominion. Poliitco conducted the poll.
McAuliffe, the former national Democratic Party chairman, is now 9 points ahead of Cuccinelli, the current state attorney general, in a race that also includes Libertarian nominee Robert Sarvis. In the poll McAuliffe drew support from 44 percent of Virginians versus 35 percent for Cuccinelli and 12 percent for Sarvis. It should also be noted that four weeks from Election Day, McAuliffe also leads Cuccinelli in a one-on-one contest, 52 percent to 42 percent.
The major problem at this point for Cuccinelli is the government shutdown. Virginia has a large population of both civilian and military government employees. McAuliffe had led Cuccinelli in the mid-single digits in both public and private polling, but the new data and stronger support for McAuliffe is due to the shutdown of the government.