Tuesday, March 31, 2009

New Gubernatorial Poll Has Brian Moran in the Lead

PPP has released the results of a new poll which continues to show the gubernatorial race as being very tight. However, a new development is that Brian Moran has taken a four point lead over Terry McAuliffe.
Public Policy Polling’s latest survey finds that Virginia’s Democratic primary race for governor is still tight, with Brian Moran receiving 22%, Terry McAuliffe getting 18%, and Creigh Deeds polling third at 15%. 45% of respondents are still undecided.

Respondents have roughly equal opinions about the favorability of each candidate. Moran is polling at 34/15 favorability, Deeds has 31/12 favorability, and McAuliffe is polling at a 32/29 split.

“Brian Moran has taken the lead this month after Terry McAuliffe had it last month,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “But all the movement is within the margin of error, and this remains a very close three-way race.”
Debnam is correct in pointing out that this is going to be a very close race, but these poll results are noteworthy because they clearly contradict the argument that Terry McAuliffe is simply running away with the race. In fact, they tend to suggest that Terry had an initial surge of support after he entered the race but that has now leveled off while Brian's support has slightly grown.

While the gubernatorial race remains neck and neck, one could make the argument that the Lt. Governor race now has a frontrunner since Jody Wagner has taken a big lead. Here are the poll results for that race.
Jody Wagner: 21%
Jon Bowerbank: 4%
Pat Edmonson: 4%
Mike Signer: 4%
Undecided: 67%
Wagner clearly has an advantage in this poll, but the important thing here is that 67% of the likely voters are still undecided. Quite frankly, there are many political insiders who are undecided because they don't know any of the LG candidates well so it's a safe assumption that the general public doesn't know much about the candidates either. This is significant because it means that voter education in the next few months can really play a big role in deciding who wins this primary. The financial reports that will be coming out in mid April will therefore be very important as they will be an indicator of who has the resources to get their message out to the voters. The amount of grassroots support that we see emerge will also be crucial because it is the volunteers who will have to get out and knock on doors, make phone calls, and help spread their candidate's message.


  1. The problem I see for Moran is that he loses in a polling tie on election day because T-mac has the $$ and people to get a higher vote per supporter ratio than Moran does.

  2. But T-mac already has literally hired almost 100 staffers (the last count I heard was 98) and that still resulted in him losing 6 points in relation to Moran since the last poll came out. Money's nice, but a good message and strong grassroots support seems to be winning here.