Tuesday, August 4, 2009

PPP: "Creigh Deeds Is Not Doing Well"

One of the biggest things that progressive activists here in Virginia have been saying recently is that it’s hard to get people on our side really excited about the gubernatorial race. As much as we all really like Creigh Deeds and want to see him elected, I don’t think anyone will claim he was the most progressive candidate in the Democratic primary. When you combine that with the fact that he also hasn’t been taking positions on some of the federal issues (such as health care, EFCA, key environmental issues), there hasn’t been too much to excite volunteers who normally would go out and knock on doors or make phone calls – which is unfortunate because we really need to win this election.

The latest poll conducted by PPP seems to pick up on this fact as it predicts that the electorate in November will be made up of 51% of people who supported McCain while only 42% supported Obama. According to Tom Jensen from PPP, that spells out an 18 point enthusiasm gap.
What does that mean? Let's say that 2 million people vote this fall, a slight uptick from 2005. Using the data from the poll that would mean 1,040,000 McCain voters and 820,000 Obama voters.

Now let's compare that to last fall. McCain received 1,725,005 votes. If 1,040,000 of those turn out this year that's equal to 60% of his voters. Obama received 1,959,532 votes. If 820,000 of those turn out this fall that's equal to 42% of his voters.

So there's basically an 18 point enthusiasm gap for turning out this fall between McCain voters and Obama voters at this point. Deeds probably needs to bring that down to about five by bringing out 55% of Obama's voters to win. The bad news is he's not there right now, the good news is he's got three months to get there.
The full numbers will be out around 11am today, but things aren’t looking to good for Creigh right now. To help improve these numbers, I'd really like to see Creigh spend a significant amount of time in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads after he locks up some of his home base during the tour he’s currently taking through rural Virginia. Spending time in these regions will help increase turnout in the areas that have traditionally performed well for Democratic candidates and allow Creigh to reach out to some of the progressive activists who have helped turn the Commonwealth blue.

If he’s able to get these activists a little better and let them know some of the progressive causes he’ll advocate for, then there will begin to be some more enthusiasm for his candidacy. Of course doing this will not only get the Obama supporters out to the polls, but also create an environment where many of those people will also volunteer and be able to convince Independents and moderate Republicans that they should vote for Creigh. In other words, it could really help to rally the Democratic base and give Creigh a good shot at winning in November.

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