Roanoke College poll: McAuliffe +6, Northam +4, Obenshain +3

A new day brings us a new poll on Virginia’s statewide races. Roanoke College finds the gubernatorial race between Ken Cuccinelli and Terry McAuliffe closer than Tuesday’s polls from Politico and Christopher Newport University, but only a bit:

Democrat Terry McAuliffe has opened a six-point lead over Republican Ken Cuccinelli (40%-34%), while 16 percent of likely voters in Virginia remain undecided in the 2013 gubernatorial election, according to The Roanoke College Poll. Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis was supported by 9 percent of respondents.*

The Roanoke College Poll interviewed 1,046 likely voters in Virginia between September 30 and October 5 and has a margin of error of +3 percent

For those looking for trends across the polls out this week, one is very clear: neither of the major party candidates has broken the 50 percent barrier, in part due to the continued polling strength of Libertarian Robert Sarvis. More ominously for the Cuccinelli campaign? He doesn’t crack 40 percent in any of the polls released this week.

The campaign’s response to its inability to move the numbers is baffling. It has reverted to its old, well-traveled attack on McAuliffe’s former car company, GreenTech.

We haven’t crossed into the dark last days of the 2006 Allen Senate campaign yet. But we appear to be getting close.

The Roanoke poll also looked at the downticket races:

In the down-ticket races, Democrat Ralph Northam narrowly leads Republican E. W. Jackson for lieutenant governor (Northam-39%, Jackson-35%, Undecided-26%), and Republican Mark Obenshain holds a statistically insignificant lead over Democrat Mark Herring for attorney general (Obenshain-38%, Herring-35%, Undecided-26%).

And we get a look at what issues motivate people this year. Unsurprisingly, the economy still tops the list:

While voters tend to state that all issues are important, some distinctions are evident. The economy and jobs received an average score of 8.97, followed by education (8.36), government spending (8.22), health care (8.12), taxes (7.80), gun control (7.04), transportation (6.77), and abortion (6.47).

That government spending ranks so highly is unexpected and may be a spill over from the ongoing circus in Washington.

The poll’s cross tabs can be found here. The list of questions can be found here.