PPP: Cuccinelli 41%-McAuliffe 38%; Bolling 38%-McAuliffe 33%

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    Public Policy Polling appears to be rolling out their Virginia poll results over several days. The latest results were released a few hours ago, on potential 2013 matchups.  The results?

    *”Bolling tops McAuliffe, 38-33 (38-34 in May), and Perriello, 39-32 (39-34).  But Cuccinelli bests McAuliffe only 41-38 (41-36), and Perriello, 41-36 (41-37).”

    *Bolling has a 19%-16% favorability rating (66% are “not sure”); Cuccinelli’s at 34%-32% (35% “not sure”); McAuliffe’s at 15%-26% (59% “not sure”); Perriello’s at 16%-20% (64% “not sure”)

    *This sample was definitely weighted towards Republicans, as 47% said they voted for McCain in 2008 and 47% said they voted for Obama. In reality, Obama won Virginia by 7 points in 2008, 53%-46%. [UPDATE: Ben makes a good point, that a gubernatorial year is unlikely to have the turnout mix of a presidential year, particularly one like 2008, here in Virginia]

    Also, as PPP points out, “The anonymity on the Democratic side makes it very clear that field is wide open for other faces to get into the race and while Cuccinelli may be tough to beat in a primary if he decides to run there would be a lot of room for a different face to challenge the little known Bolling.”

    In other words, the 2013 governor’s race is still a long ways off and will be affected tremendously by whatever happens in 2012.  So, while PPP’s numbers provide an interesting snapshot at this point in time, I’m not sure they really mean a heck of a lot. One thing I would say is that Democrats need to get their favorability ratings up, and also need to work on driving DOWN Cuccinelli’s and Bolling’s. The fact that Cuccinelli’s are as high as they are is utterly absurd, given how outrageous he’s been, and in my view represents a major failure on the part of Democratic Party messaging the past few years in defining him as the extremist/wacko that he is.

    P.S. I wonder why PPP tested Tom Perriello and not Ward Armstrong for governor. I’d actually be surprised if Tom ran for governor in 2013, but I would NOT be surprised if Ward did.

    • notlarrysabato

      Democrats dominated in 2008 among groups of voters (young, minority, etc) who historically make up a smaller segment of the electorate in Virginia Governor off year elections.

      I think even is actually a little generous to us in terms of that electorate on average.

    • PPP on Twitter said they included Perriello as another Democrat with high name ID to pair with Terry. There’s no way that even Ward has higher than 10% to 15% name ID, which means you’re basically polling a generic Democrat.

      The utility of both Tom and Terry in the poll is that it pains a clear picture that at this point there’s no real frontrunner or Democrat who has clearly defined themselves as a strong candidate in the eyes of most voters. Any candidate, be it Terry, Tom, Ward, or someone else, would have to define themselves and work to make themselves known to average voters. Recall that in one of the earliest PPP polls of the 2009 primary Creigh Deeds, the guy who had actually ran statewide, had the lowest name ID among Democratic primary voters! (http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/surveys/2009_Archives/PPP_Release_VA_203.pdf)

    • kindler

      Per Richmond Times-Dispatch :

      “I’m no closer to jumping the track I’m on than I was however many months ago we last talked about it,” he said. “But that’s a ways off, regardless. But, we’ll see. …Two years is a long time.

      “Frankly, in politics, two months is a long time. So given the beating I frequently have taken it’s encouraging to see us coming through as favorably as we have – that’s very encouraging to me. But we’ll see how that holds up over time.”

      Cuccinelli has said he expects to run again for attorney general in 2013.

      “That’s my expectation — if I were on the outside, that’s how I would bet,” he said. “But certainly thinking about other options. But not particularly actively, still.”

      Translation: “You better get your fat arse in shape, Billy, because I’m gonna beat you like a drum.”

    • When I volunteered in Perriello’s Danville office last fall, I’d been thinking the Perriello locals would have their eye on the 2012 Senate seat for Tom, but they all talked up governor in 2013 for him. Again, that’s local supporters and not staff or insiders, but one perspective on what Tom might do.

    • hathaway

      Creigh was a terrible choice, but the antipathy of the Va.Dem. party and the Washington Post to all things Clinton precluded McAuliffe from having the nomination. His heart was in it, Creigh’s was obviously not. (I have my reservations about Kaine’s passion for this Senate run) I think Perriello is great, but I think McAuliffe has the ability to razzle and dazzle the less informed voter. That’s a good thing. Those independent types who can easily be convinced to vote against their own self interest are impressed easily by the rich guy.  They see the rich guy as a possible savior much like M. Warner. And, in McAuliffe you’ve got a rich guy who would actually work for these voters and not against their economic self-interest.