CNU poll: Dead-even race for Dems, Gillespie has commanding lead

From left to right: Ed Gillespie, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam and Tom Perriello

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — A new poll from Christopher Newport University shows a dead-even race in the Democratic primary for the gubernatorial election, while the Republican side is looking like a single-candidate race.

CNU poll: Gillespie, Northam atop unsettled race for governor

Current LT. Gov. Ralph Northam is tied with former congressman Tom Perriello at 26 percent, according to CNU’s polling.

Meanwhile, former Republican National Committee Chair Ed Gillespie has a commanding lead over his fellow GOP candidates.

CNU’s poll shows Gillespie has 38 percent of the vote in the Republican primary — with Prince William County Chairman Corey Stewart sitting at 11 percent and Sen. Frank Wagner (R-Virginia Beach) at 10 percent.

Gillespie’s lead on the Republican side appears to be strong statewide. According to the poll, Gillespie is polling particularly strong in the Richmond area as well as the southern and southwestern portions of the state.

The former GOP chairman is also polling strong among voters who supported candidates including Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Ohio Gov. John Kasich in last year’s Republican presidential primary.

READ: CNU March Gubernatorial Race Update

There appears to be an even clearer divide among voters who participated in the 2016 presidential election. CNU says voters who favored Hillary Clinton are also favoring Northam over Perriello — 34 percent to 25 — in the gubernatorial race.

Meanwhile, those figures are practically flipped among voters who supported Sen. Bernie Sanders. CNU’s polling shows Northam’s strength is with voters in the Hampton Roads region.

Perriello has more support among voters in the Richmond area and in southern and southwestern portions of the state, according to CNU’s latest poll.

The findings from CNU’s Wason Center for Public Policy also come with many voters on both sides saying they are still undecided.

Around 45 percent of voters on the Democratic side they are undecided, while 38 percent of Republican voters say they are undecided, according to the poll.

Stay with for the latest updates in the 2017 gubernatorial election.