With just more than two months before Virginians go to the polls to select their party’s
nominees for statewide office, most candidates are still largely unknown to voters.
Current Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam and former congressman Tom Perriello
are locked in a dead-even race in the Democratic primary for governor. Both have 26%
of the vote, with just under half (45%) saying they are undecided. Former Republican
National Committee Chair Ed Gillespie is the best known candidate in the June 13
election and leads the GOP field for governor by a wide margin, with 38%, compared to
11% for Prince William County Chairman Corey Stewart and 10% for Virginia Beach
state Senator Frank Wagner. More than a third of Republicans (38%) are undecided.
The latest poll from CNU is not the first to find a tie in the Democratic contest (Quinnipiac found each candidate at 19% last month), but certainly helps cement how competitive this contest is. Since CNU’s last survey, Perriello has gained, while Northam is earning the exact same share (the January survey had Perriello at 15% and Northam at 26%). On the Republican side, voters have been gradually making up their minds. In the January release, Gillespie stood at 33% and Stewart at 7%. The former RNC Chair has enjoyed wide leads in all polling, but has maintained that as more voters have decided.