Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Moran/Deeds split could help McAuliffe

Our latest look at the Virginia Democratic contest for Governor yesterday found that there were more voters with a negative opinion of Terry McAuliffe than Brian Moran and Creigh Deeds combined.

The good news for McAuliffe? Those voters are very much divided in their support between his two opponents. 41% of respondents who view the former DNC head unfavorably support Moran and 31% support Deeds.

Because of that phenomenon it is entirely possible that McAuliffe could continue to be the most unpopular candidate with the primary electorate all the way through election day...and still win the Democratic nomination with 35-40% of the vote if the anti vote is split too evenly.

If that's the case it will be interesting to see if Democrats come together as well behind McAuliffe as Clinton supporters eventually did behind Barack Obama last fall, or if McAuliffe's unpopularity with a third of the Democratic electorate bleeds through to the general election, resulting in an easy victory for Bob McDonnell.

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