Cuc­cinelli dou­bling Bolling in new poll

Has early edge in gu­ber­na­to­rial race

The Washington Times Daily - - Metro - BY DAVID SHERFINSKI

RICH­MOND | Virginia At­tor­ney Gen­eral Ken­neth T. Cuc­cinelli II leads Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling by 19 per­cent­age points in the likely Re­pub­li­can nom­i­na­tion con­test for gov­er­nor in 2013, ac­cord­ing to a poll re­leased Thurs­day.

The Roanoke Col­lege poll, which put Mr. Cuc­cinelli and Mr. Bolling at 37 per­cent and 18 per­cent, re­spec­tively, also found 44 per­cent of vot­ers are un­de­cided, sim­i­lar to re­sults in other polls in this race.

Mr. Cuc­cinelli has won sup­port from con­ser­va­tives in part by su­ing the fed­eral gov­ern­ment over Pres­i­dent Obama’s health care re­forms and chal­leng­ing the En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency over car­bon emis­sions reg­u­la­tions. He also has greater name recog­ni­tion than Mr. Bolling, the poll showed.

Mr. Bolling has spent the sec­ond term in his post as Gov. Bob Mcdon­nell’s chief jobs cre­ation of­fi­cer and has been the tie-break­ing vote in the evenly di­vided Se­nate on sev­eral con­tentious is­sues so far dur­ing the 2012 Gen­eral Assem­bly.

Mr. Bolling had a 57 per­cent fa­vor­able rat­ing and 16 per­cent un­fa­vor­able rat­ing, while Mr. Cuc­cinelli’s num­bers were 62 per­cent and 24 per­cent, re­spec­tively.

“Look­ing ahead to 2013, Mr. Cuc­cinelli has greater name recog­ni­tion than Bolling and leads in the head-to­head matchup,” said Harry L. Wil­son, di­rec­tor of the In­sti­tute for Pol­icy and Opin­ion Re­search. “But both cur­rently en­joy high fa­vor­able rat­ings among Re­pub­li­can pri­mary vot­ers who are fa­mil­iar with them. That said, a year can be an eter­nity in pol­i­tics.”

In Virginia’s GOP pres­i­den­tial pri­mary con­test March 6, Mitt Rom­ney has a 56 per­cent to 21 per­cent lead over Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, the only other can­di­date on the Re­pub­li­can bal­lot in the state.

“To state the ob­vi­ous, it ap­pears in­evitable that Mitt Rom­ney will win the

pri­mary,” Mr. Wil­son said. “But with a higher un­fa­vor­able rat­ing [36 per­cent fa­vor­able, 37 per­cent un­fa­vor­able] among those vot­ing, he is not an overly pop­u­lar choice. Which­ever can­di­date gets the GOP nom­i­na­tion, he will have a lot of work to do in Virginia.”

Even with ad­di­tional can­di­dates on the bal­lot, the for­mer Mas­sachusetts gov­er­nor still led with 31 per­cent of the vote, while 27 per­cent fa­vored for­mer Sen. Rick San­to­rum of Penn­syl­va­nia. Thir­teen per­cent went to for­mer House Speaker Newt Gin­grich, and 12 per­cent fa­vored Mr. Paul.

Half of the re­spon­dents iden­ti­fied them­selves as Repub­li­cans, 28 per­cent said they were in­de­pen­dents and 13 per­cent were Democrats. Virginia holds an open pri­mary, so any­body can vote, re­gard­less of party.

The poll sur­veyed 377 likely Re­pub­li­can pri­mary vot­ers from Feb. 13 to 28, and has a mar­gin of er­ror of 5 per­cent­age points. re­jected a power-shar­ing agree­ment from Democrats. Democrats also have called for more eq­ui­table rep­re­sen­ta­tion on com­mit­tees, a propo­si­tion that Re­pub­li­can lead­ers have flatly re­jected.

“They’re solid. They’re solid as a rock,” Sen. Charles J. Col­gan, Prince Wil­liam Demo­crat, said of his cau­cus. Mr. Col­gan would be made co-chair­man of the Se­nate Fi­nance Com­mit­tee un­der a pro­posal from the Democrats. “No­body’s blink­ing.”

The House Ap­pro­pri­a­tions Com­mit­tee on Thurs­day af­ter­noon quickly ap­proved the plan, as well as a mea­sure iden­ti­cal to its ver­sion of the “ca­boose bud­get” to amend the spend­ing plan that funds op­er­a­tions for the fis­cal year end­ing June 30, which the Se­nate blocked as well.

House Ma­jor­ity Leader M. Kirk­land Cox, Colo­nial Heights Re­pub­li­can, said he hopes the House can de­bate the bud­get Fri­day and have it over to the Se­nate on Mon­day.

At the State House, (from left) Mary­land Se­nate Pres­i­dent Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., Mr. O’mal­ley and Mr. Busch sign the Civil Mar­riage Pro­tec­tion Act into law. Mary­land on Thurs­day be­came the eighth state in the na­tion to le­gal­ize gay mar­riage.

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