RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe has inched ahead in the race to replace Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, according to a newly released Quinnipiac University poll. McAuliffe leads Republican candidate and Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli 43 to 38 percent.
This is the first time either candidate has gained a significant lead since Quinnipiac University began polling on the race. A poll released in March put Cuccinelli ahead 40 to 38 percent, but within the margin of error.
Neither candidate has an edge among Independent voters. Results show that 38 percent of Independents back Cuccinelli, while 37 back McAuliffe.
Both candidates remain relatively unknown.
McAullife is viewed favorably by 22 percent of the electorate, yet 60 percent say they don't know enough about him to form an opinion. Attorney General Ken Cuccinellli is better known with a favorable rating of 31 percent and a job approval rating of 47 percent.
Jobs are the most important issue according to 22 percent of voters. That's followed by 16 percent who say government spending, 15 percent who say health care, 12 percent who say schools and 11 percent of voters say taxes are the top issue.
Race for the White House
In the race for the White House in 2016, Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Senator Mark Warner would keep the Commonwealth blue if they were to run.
Quinnipiac University says Clinton would beat Republican U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida 51 percent to 38 percent. While she would beat U.S. Representative and former Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan 50 to 40 percent.
U.S. Senator Warner would beat Rubio 51 percent to 33 percent and beat Ryan 50 to 37 percent.
Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,286 registered voters with a margin of +/- 2.7 percentage points.