After facing a popular opponent in the Democratic Primary, it appears as though Gerry Connolly is beginning the general election on good terms. In a poll of 500 likely voters that was conducted by Lake Research Partners from July 10 - 14, Gerry has more than a thirty point lead in a head to head match up with the Republican candidate Keith Fimian.
Initially, Connolly leads Fimian 52% to 21%. A quarter of voters are undecided, and Independent Green Party candidate Joe Oddo receives 2%.A memo from Lake Research Partners does point out that Fimian has the ability to self fund his campaign which could help his cause in the long run. If Gerry is able to keep producing impressive fundrasing numbers and is able to communicate his message to the public, however, the numbers suggest that he should still be able to win in November.
Notably, even though Connolly has majority support now, he has room to grow his vote. After voters hear a positive profile of both candidates with language they currently use, Connolly leads 54% to 27%. He doubles Fimian's vote share and receives well over majority support.
Finally, after a simulated campaign introducing negative and positive information on both candidates, Connolly wins 58% to 23%, expanding his vote share and stunting Fimian's growth.
Obviously this is still rather early so the numbers could change. Nonetheless, thirty points is a huge lead and would be extremely difficult to overcome in just a few months. It's also worth noting that the numbers that the Connolly campaign announced at a similar point in the Democratic primary showing a huge lead did prove to be accurate within a few points. In other words, the polling seems to be a good gauge of public opinion and is a really good sign for Gerry.