Thursday, February 11, 2010

Virginia 5 Poll

The race in Virginia's 5th Congressional District looks like a tossup for now but an entry by Virgil Goode could shake up the race significantly.

Democratic incumbent Tom Perriello is tied with Republican front runner Robert Hurt at 44% each. Voters are pretty divided on Perriello's performance so far with 42% expressing approval of him to 46% who disapprove. Hurt is pretty much a blank slate to voters in the district with 70% having no opinion of him.

That makes Hurt the 'name' Republican compared to the others running though. 75% are ambivalent toward Ken Boyd, 82% are toward Jim McKelvey and Laurence Verga, and 83% have no opinion about Michael McPadden. Perriello leads the lesser known Republicans by margins ranging from 4 to 10 points.

The race's complexion could be changed in an instant if Virgil Goode decides to try to reclaim his old seat. Despite his defeat in 2008 58% of voters have a favorable opinion of him to only 29% who see him negatively, making him by far the most popular politician in the district. Goode has hinted he may run as an independent if the eventual Republican nominee is not sufficiently conservative. Goode and Perriello tie at 41% with Robert Hurt getting only 12% in such a scenario.

Last summer Goode said he wouldn't run as a Republican but if he changes his mind the nomination is probably his for the taking. 84% of GOP voters have a favorable opinion of him- among the candidates actually running none is higher than 20%.

If Goode stays out the prospect of a more conservative 'Tea Party' style candidate running as an alternative in the general election to the moderate Hurt could be a boon to Perriello's reelection prospects. Under that scenario Perriello gets 44% to 27% for Hurt and 19% for the generic 'Tea Party' candidate.

Perriello's in a decent position given the district's overall attitude toward national Democrats- 57% disapprove of the Democrats in Congress, 52% are against the Democratic health care bill, and 50% disapprove of Barack Obama. Notably, while 50% of voters in the district think Congressional Democrats are too liberal only 42% say the same of Perriello, indicating that he has been able to disassociate himself at least a little from the overall negative perceptions of his party.

Perriello will have a tough time getting reelected but he's in a better position than many of his colleagues. What Goode decides to do could end up being the decisive factor in this race.

Full results here


d.eris said...

As there are already two declared independent candidates in this race, it seems highly disingenuous to poll support on the names of the Democrat and Republicans, but then leave the independents out by asking about a "generic tea party candidate."

Anonymous said...

I glad by Perriello.

Democrats in the House are more solid than some people think.

Anonymous said...

The Republicans will pick this seat up

Way too liberal for this district

Unknown said...

Tom Perriello is truly a profile in courage. I think this poll shows that if a strong candidate actually makes the case for Democratic principles, they can win. PPP has posted before about the apparent advantages to marginal democrats of voting against HCR, but here`s a data point on the other side of the ledger.

Tom works tirelessly for his constituents and has engaged them on the issues, explaining how health care and energy legislation will help his district. This should be a model for all Democratic incumbents in 2010.

Anonymous said...

Hurt is not a moderate, he's a conservative who is being dogged by voting for Mark Warner's budget. Aside from that one vote, he's a party-line Republican, but apparently that's not enough for the teabaggers.

MMX FLEX said...

Perriello-si is done. 42% approval is not where he needs to be in February. His votes for stimulus, c&t, and obamacare (not to mention his recent vote to raise debt ceiling) are not in line with the 5th. His opponents are unknown to constituents right now, but the one that emerges from the primary will have several months to remind voters that Perriello-si arrogantly voted for obamacare when only 32% of district favored it. More at

Anonymous said...

Most of Perriello's constituents would benefit greatly from the health care plan he supported. God, people, turn off Glenn Beck and think for yourselves.

Anonymous said...

I find it fascinating how the Perriello fans convert this poll in to good news. The hasn't been one ad run by the republicans and they are tied or very close. Perriello was 30% down at this point two years and had Obama on the ballot to help him.

The poll doesn't show which republican will get the nod but does show that their very close before spending a dime.

Robert Egloff said...

If Perriello is in good shape, why all the money recently poured into TV ads by the DemNat Commitee and, MY FAVORITE, the SEIU. I can assure you, he hasn't enough support to carry Halifax county. Good grief, last election, he only squeezed in, even on Obama's coat tails. His voting record is proof he is a bought and paid for party hack, a socialist lib.

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