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.