Va. governor's race becomes progressively more negative

ARLINGTON (WJLA) - A new push by the men vying to be Virginia’s next governor to get northern Virginia voters involved in the campaign follows months of attack ads that political analysts say hurt both candidates.

The race has become progressively more negative between republican Ken Cuccinelli and democrat Terry McAuliffe. Both campaigns believe now that we’re past Labor Day more Virginians will start getting involved. But some of those Virginians aren’t so sure.

McAuliffe visited the Little Ambassador's Academy, an early childhood education center, Thursday morning. He rejects the idea that voters are not fired up for Election Day.

“We’ll surprise some of the skeptics out there that people are actually excited and they’re excited because there is a real stark difference between the two{ }candidates running for governor,” he says.

“If you look at the litany of negative and false attack ads Terry McAuliffe is putting on the air it tells you they’re very worried about enthusiasm from Ken’s base,” says{ }Michael Short, Republican National Committee spokesman.

The negative ads and attacks have come from both sides and voters are noticing. The latest{ }Quinnipiac polls show many voters either have no opinion fo the candidates or view them unfavorably.

“It’s a strikingly negative race,” says Alex Burns of POLITICO.

Burns says voters aren’t the only ones feeling the apathy.

“You even talk to people who are involved in this race on one side or another and there’s a fair amount of ambivalence about both these candidates,” he says.

James Herring agrees, while Wendy Shang is definitely tuned in.

“My family always follows politics and we don’t miss a chance to vote,” Shang says.

“If we had a breath of fresh air and someone who seemed like they were in touch with regular folks that would probably be the person who would inspire people,” says Herring.

Political analysts say voter dissatisfaction is forcing the candidates to focus less on middle-of-the-road voters and more on their bases of support. For McAuliffe, it’s women, minorities and young voters. For Cuccinelli, it’s traditional Virginia conservatives.