“Voters care more about empathy than experience, which helps explain (Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry) McAuliffe’s lead,” Peter A. Brown of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute stated in a press release issued Wednesday about polling results showing McAuliffe with a six-point (48-42 percent) lead in his race against Republican Ken Cuccinelli for governor of Virginia.
A candidate’s “understanding of the problems of people like you” is extremely important, 44 percent of voters stated, while 38 percent say its very important. In the case of McAuliffe, the poll showed, 38 percent said he understands their needs, and 42 percent said he doesn’t. But in the case of Cuccinelli, 37 percent say he understands them, while 51 percent say he doesn’t, a much wider margin. On other matters, such as leadership, honesty and experience, polls showed voters to be roughly evenly divided in their opinions of the candidates. Thus, McAuliffe’s six-point lead is attributable mostly to the empathy factor, the pollsters concluded.