October 1, 2013
By Matthew Reece
On Sept. 30, Newsmax/Zogby Polling released a poll of the gubernatorial race in Virginia. The race now appears to be nearly tied, with Democrat Terry McAuliffe, a former chairman of the national Democratic Party, leading Republican Ken Cuccinelli, the current attorney general of Virginia, by a margin of 32.5 percent to 32.4 percent. 24.3 percent are undecided, while 10.8 percent support another candidate.
But when Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis is named as a choice, he gets 12.7 percent of the vote, with McAuliffe at 32.2 percent and Cuccinelli at 27.4 percent.
Among 18-to-29-year-olds, the difference is far more pronounced. A two-candidate poll finds Cuccinelli at 46.0 percent and McAuliffe at 26.7 percent, while a three-candidate polling finds McAuliffe at 28.8 percent, Cuccinelli at 23.2 percent, and Sarvis at 21.6 percent. Like most Libertarian candidates, Sarvis performs exceptionally well among voters younger than 30.
This result, along with a Bearing Drift poll from last week showing Sarvis at 10.8 percent, should be sufficient to allow Sarvis to debate alongside Cuccinelli and McAuliffe. The threshold for being allowed into debates in the Virginia gubernatorial race is 10 percent, and Sarvis has been excluded from debates thus far.
If Sarvis’s support holds up or grows stronger, it will be one of the strongest results in a gubernatorial race inLibertarian Party history. The current record is held by Dick Randolph, who received 14.92% of the vote in the 1982 Alaska gubernatorial election.
The Libertarian Party is the only third party with a candidate running in the 2013 Virginia gubernatorial race. An independent candidate was running, but was unable to meet the ballot access requirements.