Tuesday, October 27, 2009

McDonnell's lead grows

Bob McDonnell has again expanded his lead in the race to be Virginia's next Governor and is now up 55-40 on Creigh Deeds. A week ago the contest stood at 52-40.

There is some indication in the recent polls that Democratic voters are giving up on this race. At the beginning of September 38% of likely voters were Democrats. By the end of the month it was 37%, a week ago it was down to 33% and now it's at just 31%. That trend has major implications for the party's candidates further down the ballot.

McDonnell continues to hold a dominating lead with independents, as he has throughout the general election campaign. This week it's 59-34. His party is more united behind him as well, with 94% of Republicans planning to vote for him compared to 84% of Democrats who say they'll vote for Deeds.

59% of voters think Deeds has run a mostly negative campaign, and that's reflected in his favorability numbers. Now just 38% of voters have a positive opinion of him while 49% see him unfavorably. His negative ratings have increased in every poll PPP has done of the race, from 29% at the start of July to 32% at the beginning of August to 35% as September began to 42% as it ended to 48% a week ago and now to 49%.

Despite Deeds' difficulties only 24% of voters think his party should have nominated Terry McAuliffe or Brian Moran instead, perhaps indicating an understanding that Democrats would have had an uphill battle in this race no matter who the party's nominee was. Among Democrats 31% think one of the other primary candidates should have been nominated while 41% disagree and 28% are not sure.

In another indication that the 'thesis' issue never really caught on 52% of voters in the state say they disagree with Bob McDonnell's writings with only 15% expressing concurrence with his statements. Even among McDonnell's supporters just 24% agree to 33% disagreeing. But it never became a vote defining factor for much of the Virginia electorate.

Down ballot it continues to look like a Republican sweep. Bill Bolling leads Jody Wagner 50-38 for Lieutenant Governor and Ken Cuccinelli has a 52-36 advantage over Attorney General.

Full results here

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