Friday, May 8, 2009

One last observation on Virginia

On our Virginia poll earlier this week we asked folks whether they were committed to supporting the eventual Democratic nominee for Governor, regardless of who it is.

79% said yes, but we're more interested in the 21% who said no.

Among that group 42% said they had a favorable opinion of Brian Moran and 30% said they had a positive one of Creigh Deeds. But only 18% looked on Terry McAuliffe favorably.

On the other side only 14% had an unfavorable opinion of Deeds and just 16% hold a negative one of Moran. But 51% view McAuliffe unfavorably.

It's pretty clear which potential nominee most of those folks aren't committed to supporting.

It largely goes back to McAuliffe's problems with independent voters. While only 18% of overall likely primary voters are independents, 45% of the ones who say they aren't totally sure they'll support the Democratic nominee this fall are. And while McAuliffe has taken a double digit lead overall in this race he's still in last place among independents, polling at just 13% with them to 26% for Moran and 23% for Deeds.

It could have major implications for his general election viability, but at the same time a lot of folks who supported Hillary Clinton in the primaries said they weren't going to support Barack Obama in the fall and then almost all of them did. If McAuliffe ends up as the nominee he'll need to work hard to secure a similar level of unity if he's going to be able to knock off Bob McDonnell this fall.

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