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McAuliffe, Chase lead way in Virginia governor’s race, survey shows

Half of the Democratic voters are undecided at 49% along with 55% of the Republicans voters

Terry McAuliffe is leading in the Democratic race and Amanda Chase leads with Republicans.
Terry McAuliffe is leading in the Democratic race and Amanda Chase leads with Republicans.

This year’s crowded contest for governor is an uncertain one as Virginia nears its selection for party nominations.

So far, about half of Democratic voters are undecided at 49% along with 55% of Republican voters, according to a Wason Center for Civic Leadership survey released Friday.

Former governor Terry McAuliffe, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, former Prince William Del. Jennifer Carrol Foy, Richmond Sen. Jennifer McClellan and Manassas Del. Lee Carter (WSLS)

Former governor Terry McAuliffe leads Democrats with 26%, followed by Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax with 12%, former Prince William Del. Jennifer Carrol Foy and Richmond Sen. Jennifer McClellan at 4% each and Manassas Del. Lee Carter at 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.”

The Democratic Party of Virginia is planning to hold a primary June 8.

TOP (Left to right:) Chesterfield Sen. Amanda Chase, Virginia House Speaker Kirk Cox, Pete Snyder, Glenn Youngkin BOTTOM(Left to right): Merle Rutledge, Kurt Santini, Sergio de la Peña and Peter Doran (WSLS 10)

As for the Republican contest, Chesterfield Sen. Amanda Chase is leading with 17%, followed by Virginia House Speaker Kirk Cox at 10%, entrepreneur Pete Snyder at 6%, Glenn Youngkin at 3% and Merle Rutledge, Kurt Santini and Sergio de la Peña at 0%. Peter Doran, who’s listed as a nominee by the Republican Party of Virginia wasn’t included in the survey.

“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. “What we’re seeing with these survey results is mostly name recognition. Former Governor Terry McAuliffe – people know who that is so he’s going to do better in these polls early on, but certainly there is plenty of room for movement in the race as people get to know the other candidates.”

The Republican Party of Virginia is planning a nominating convention.

The survey was conducted Jan. 31 through Feb. 14, 2021, with a 3.4% margin of error and is based on interviews done with 1,005 Virginia registered voters.

See the full results below.


About the Authors:

Jazmine Otey joined the 10 News team in February 2021.

McKinley Strother joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2020. He anchors 10 News at 6 and 11 on Saturdays and Sundays and you'll also catch him reporting during the week.