Home 2012 races New Poll has Kaine up by Six, Perriello Up One vs. Allen

New Poll has Kaine up by Six, Perriello Up One vs. Allen


By Paul Goldman

In the “whatever it’s worth department”, I heard last night from a friend, usually reliable but I think she is one of those anti-Allen Republicans about a poll done by a Republican organization, it sounded like the National Republican Senatorial Committee but maybe not. Anyway, keep in mind that what follows is from what must be considered the anti-Allen side of the GOP debate. Although it really isn’t anti-Allen, as I hear what they are saying.

Their position is this. Voters don’t like to go back, they go forward. You don’t have to be new, just not yesterday’s news. Like how Reagan in 1980 made himself new after having lost or the “new” Nixon, or the “new” Clinton after he lost for Governor and got himself re-elected.

They didn’t try to recapture past glory. That’s not possible. She does campaigns. So I see what she is saying. It’s generally true.

Anyway, suffice to say it was a legitimate poll, just done, testing a Kaine vs Allen race, and a few other people too. It was automatic dial, those polls having a proven GOP bias.

She said Kaine was up six, and Perriello was up one. She was shocked by the Perriello number. To be honest, so was I.

According to her, the only strong Republican candidate right now was Governor McDonnell.

He could beat Kaine she said but it would be a knife fight. She was pushing me to write about the Congressman from the sixth, Bob Goodlatte. She thought he was a sleeper statewide for the GOP.


I frankly don’t know much about him. He is already asleep.

The poll said the ant-Obama, tea-party rant had peaked, and that too many in the GOP had bought into it. She included Allen in that category. In some ways that seems odd since Allen is facing a Tea Party challenger. But on the other hand, he has basically gone that route politically in his statements this past year.

I am not sure I agree.

But her big point was Allen’s weak profile with young voters and his platform, to the extent they could poll it, She said it showed he had little hope of improving it.

Kaine’s connection with Obama proved a big help there.

Perriello also seemed to connect.

The older, anti-Obama voter was, as they say a cooking school, already baked into the cake.

She said the election would be decided among swing voters 50 and younger, along with turnout among those 35 and younger, in her opinion.

I have no idea if this is true. It strikes me that vote maxed out in 2008. The groups that stayed home where strongly anti-Obama last year.

But if you buy her thesis, then to the key voters, Kaine had a powerful message, less so for Perriello but still potent.

Almost non-existence for Allen right now.

53-47% is a big win for VA Democrat facing a real contest.

Actually, it seems too big. Historically, a national Democratic connection has hurt here in Virginia. But things are changing.

Bottom line: If she is right, then Allen needs a Kaine screw-up, a tanking economy, a world can to hell, or a serious reboot from Senator Reload to have a chance of winning.

Allen only controls one of those paths. So far, he isn’t going near that one either.

SO: If you get to this time next year and Kaine is a serious +6 – not 40-34 but in the 46-40 with the usual independent, younger bias to the undecided, then look for the national Republicans to try and find someone to challenge Allen in the primary.

Giving Kaine’s history, he figures to get stronger, not weaker, as election day nears.

  • Of course, I don’t follow this for a living, but with all the talk on NLS and the other blogs I don’t understand the thought that with Webb’s absence Allen is the likely winner.  It’s going to be an presidential election year in a state Obama carried in ’08, and Perriello even outperformed Obama in his district.

    Besides, is anyone scared by Allen as a candidate?  Of course, he lost because of the “macaca” incident, but a better candidate (or a better senator, for that matter) would have survived that gaffe.  A lot of his problems came from Allen’s post-gaffe flailing and his quick descent into negative campaigning to try to get his mojo back.  It’s not like he could run on his record. I always thought the national Republican party should have written Webb a thank-you note for revealing Allen’s glass jaw before he got the Presidential nomination.  And this is all without the challenge Allen’s going to get from the right now.

    Whether it’s Kaine or Perriello, it still seems like it’s the Dems’ race to lose.  Of course, if the nominee is someone like Harris Miller all bets are off. 😉

  • Va Breeze

    Someone to help get young votes back to the polls-I know he can make it happen.

  • Cool_Arrow

    I really do think that Tim Kaine or Tom Perriello can win. My preference is for Tim Kaine right now. Virginia will be a very hotly contested state in 2012 (probably only FL and OH will be more contested) so whoever runs is going to benefit from the money to drag voters out to the polls not being an issue. Others have said that Warner won’t be on the ballot in 2012 but was that race even on the radar in 2008? I certainly remember Obama/McCain ads but little Warner/Gilmore ads. I like Obama’s chances in Virginia right now especially with the GOP’s flawed field. The demographics of the state are changing and it is not good for the GOP. Liberal Northern Virginia is growing fast and conservative southside Virginia is stagnant and even losing people. Obama will be able to get the African-America vote out in full force, no doubt about that. You combine this with a toxic Republican candidate in George Allen and whoever the Dem is assuming they are not scandal ridden they start with a floor of at least 45%. Allen is too polarizing to win in a blowout in a Presidential year. Why the VA GOP wants him to run again is beyond me. I am glad that they are stupid in that regard. It isn’t like they have no bench in the state (Bolling and Whittman are better candidates) as Allen is extremely toxic and polarizing. Bob “Birther” Goodlatte is a huge joke. Statewide he would be annihilated.

    Tim Kaine has won 2 statewide elections and he can raise money. I think he’d beat George Allen and people could care less about the DNC chairmanship. Unless if you royally screw up or say something nutty most voters could care less. He is Governor Kaine not Chairman Kaine to the people of Virginia. He was non-controversial at the DNC and has a high name ID. He has a base outside of Northern Virginia but is liked by Northern Virginia residents.

    I think that Tom Perriello is best served deferring to Kaine on the Senate and if VA-05 gets a more favorable demographic in redistricting then he should challenge the empty suit know as Robert Hurt. Otherwise a statewide run in 2013 with the potential for a Mr. Toxic himself as the Republican nominee is his for the taking. I don’t see him having a hard time raising money at all and he would instantly get a lot of 3rd party money from labor and environment groups dumped on his behalf. He can build a name ID in NoVa and would fit in very well. He is only 36 and in 2013 he would be 39 so his time is not up.

  • EUAS

    Don’t Virginia Democrats have any possible lady candidates? I notice that your “Who’s Your Choice…” poll has none.

  • Glen Tomkins

    Allen is a stupid person, a really stupid person.  Really stupid people do not do well in politics.

    A merely stupid person can do well in politics, but only if he takes direction well.  Taking direction is what really stupid people can’t do, because they imagine that they are clever enough to do without it.

    In fact, a smart person in politics needs to take direction as well, perhaps even more so than the stupid politician, whose stupidity may tend to dumbness, a poverty of speech that can be protective.  The reason that politicians tend to speak in bland and inoffensive, if not very informative, generalities, is that even smart and well-calculated pronouncements are not likely to be nuanced enough to not offend some voter or another without an offsetting gain of someone else’s vote.  So politicians learn to speak mush outside of a few very well thought out talking points.  These talking points may well, often do, offend some set of voters or another, but always with the well-calculated gain of more votes than are lost.

    Which brings us to Allen and that macaca moment.  Yes, the use of the word was a gaffe, and even gifted politicians make the occasional gaffe.  What made this gaffe fatal for Allen was the context, and his behavior as captured on a video that was shown over and over in 2006, and will get airplay again if the Rs are foolish enough to let him be their candidate in 2012.

    The sad truth is that there defnitely are votes to be gained from siding with the idea that some of us are “real” Virginians, while those people over there are not.  But you can’t just come right out and express that idea in the context that race is what makes “them” non-real Virginians.  I think that what torpedoed Allen was the connection he makes in that video between this talking point about “real” Virginians, which is the preferred current dog-whistle that his side uses to exploit racism, and the actual overt racism of using a word like “macaca”.  Even in the southwest of the Commonwealth, you insult rather than flatter your audience if you make it clear that you think they will side with racist exclusionism.

    Allen manages a sort of triple backflip of stupid in that video.  I invite everyone who imagines that he would be the R’s best candidate to take the seat to review the thing.  First, he is confident enough of his own ability to think on his feet that he makes a point of interrupting his prepared remarks to call attention to the D tracker who has been videotaping him in publiuc appearances around the state.  He refers to this young man, obviously of south Asian descent, by a word that most would interpret as meaning some kind of monkey.  He senses that his audience didn’t catch the reference, so he helps them by explaining that Sidarth isn’t a “real” Virginian, he’s from a part of the state where there are a whole lot of non-real Virginians.  The audience doesn’t react well, so he just digs deeper and deeper, convinced that the problem isn’t his evident racist stupidity, but that he just hasn’t turned up the dazzle of his wit high enough, so he needs to just push it one more level.

    No candidate is perfect.  Allen certainly isn’t going to be running against anyone perfect on the D side if he’s their candidate.  I’m sure the D candidate will make mistakes, including the occasional gaffe.  Allen doesn;t have to be perfect.

    But Allen is in a class by himself.  We’re all stupid, but most of us are teachable.  You’re not teachable if you imagine that you’re as smart and slick as the Allen we see in the macaca video.