On our most recent Virginia poll we found that Creigh Deeds had the best favorables of the Democratic field, but was still a good bit behind front runner Terry McAuliffe.
Here's Deeds' problem:
-67% of voters with a favorable opinion of McAuliffe are planning to vote for him.
-50% of voters with a favorable opinion of Moran are planning to vote for him.
-Only 44% of voters with a favorable opinion of Deeds are planning to vote for him.
What's going on here is that Moran and McAuliffe's supporters hate the other candidate, but tend to be fine with Deeds because he's stayed above the fray.
For instance among supporters of McAuliffe Deeds' favorability is 32/24 while Moran has a net negative ratio at 23/28.
Among supporters of Moran the divide is more stunning: McAuliffe's spread is 12/71, while Deeds' is 44/17.
It appears for most McAuliffe and Moran voters Deeds would be their second choice...but in a state without runoffs that's not going to do him much good. It's just another example of how this being a three candidate field may be what propels McAuliffe to the nomination with well less than a majority of the vote.