PPP Poll: Kaine 46%-Allen 44%; McAuliffe 41%-Cuccinelli 37%

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    The latest PPP polling numbers for the U.S. Senate race this year, and the governor’s race next year, are now available. The results are not particularly surprising.

    *Tim Kaine leads George Allen by a statistically insignificant 2 points (46%-44%), compared to Barack Obama’s 8-point lead over Mitt Romney in the same PPP poll. This has been a consistent pattern in poll after poll; can anyone explain it? I can’t.

    *For 2013, assuming the Republican nominee for governor is Ken Cuccinelli (which I’d put at a 95% likelihood right now), Terry McAuliffe leads by 4 points (41%-37%). On one level, I find that comforting, but on another…how on earth can this extremist, science-denying wackjob be seriously considered by that many Virginians for our next governor?!?

    *If by some miracle Bill Bolling figures out a way to snatch the Republican nomination from Cuccinelli, he actually leads McAuliffe by 3 points (36%-33%). Unfortunately for Bolling, there’s almost no way for him to do that, given Cuccinelli’s wild popularity within the Virginia Republican Party, if not among the the general electorate.

    *Mark Warner remains highly popular, and would easily defeat Cuccinelli (51%-37%) or Bolling (49%-35%) if he decided to leave the Senate and go back to being “his Excellency.” Would Warner leave the Senate, though? I doubt it, but it’s really his call as to what job he wants, and I see no reason why he can’t wait a while to make up his mind.

    • Elaine in Roanoke

      I firmly believe that Mark Warner will go one of two ways. If he finds a way to actually achieve his vision of bipartisanship in the Senate (fat chance), he will stay there. Or, if he really wants to run for president (my guess), he leaves after the end of his term in 2014 and starts his run for 2016. Why should he have a go at yet another four-year term as governor? But then, who can read Mark Warner’s mind?

      🙂  

    • Tom

      in 2014 until he has secured the nomination, and then only if Terry has been elected governor and can appoint Warner’s replacement in the Senate. No way is Warner going to resign his Senate seat to run for Pres. if we have a republican governor who could appoint any idiot he chooses to serve out Warner’s unexpired term.

      Warner simply has no political or other reason to run for governor again, and unless Brian Moran is positioning himself for a run for governor again next year, I have to believe Terry will have no dem. opponent and will be nominated at the 2013 state convention by acclamation. All the more reason I will file for state convention delegate as soon as the calls to caucus are announced.

                             T.C.

    • kindler

      Agree on Cuccinelli — do people really want a governor who’s shown his willingness to use the powerful tools of government to assault academic freedom at U-VA for political gain?

      Or at the very least, do they care that he has done NOTHING to help the state during his term as AG — while wasting tons of taxpayer money pursuing frivolous lawsuits, almost all of which have gotten laughed out of court?

      Just as Obama 2012 has done so well with Romney’s record of job destruction, Terry and DPVA need to invest early in letting voters know who Cuccinelli is, what he believes, and all his wacko acts and statements.  

      Pull no punches whatsoever and don’t delay getting the message out.  We cannot afford such a wild extremist in the governor’s chair.

    • kindler

      On the Senate race, I think what’s happening is that neither candidate is exciting voters, so the race is stuck with no movement while everyone sleeps through it.

      Tim Kaine is a great guy, but that by itself is not enough to win.  He needs to take some risks to shake this race up, go after the empty suit and skull that is George (anybody home in there?) Allen and show that he will not just coast through the Senate, but lead.  

      Otherwise, this one will go down to the wire and no, I don’t want to stay up till 3 am election night trying to find out with trepidation if the Dimestore Cowboy managed to become my Senator again…

    • On his FB page, Ben writes:

      This has to be one of the worst days for the McAuliffe campaign yet, and I think most Democrats missed it. T-Mac leads The Cooch 41%-37% with 22% undecided in the PPP poll. But that is among voters planning to vote this November in the Presidential race. Rebalance the results to voters likely to show up in an off year election, and Cooch leads T-Mac 49%-36% with 15% undecided. Balancing to a off year turnout, Mark Warner only leads The Cooch 47%-45%.

      Sorry to bring this bad news, but unless VA Democrats figure out how to change the off year electorates and bring in younger voters outside of Presidential years, this is going to be a long couple of decades.

      I checked with Tom Jensen of PPP, and he basically agreed with Ben (which surprised me, as I had assumed PPP would have taken into account the distinctly different 2012 and 2013 Virginia electorate makeups in their analysis – apparently not!). In fact, according to Tom Jensen, “the electorate next year is likely to be much less favorable to Democrats than this one…older, whiter, and more conservative than the one this year that we’re currently using on our polls.” I asked Jensen whether they adjusted for these differences in their 2013 numbers, and he responded that “there’s really no way to model the 2013 electorate this far out- it would just be guesswork.”

      Given all that, I’ve concluded that Ben is much closer to the truth about 2013 than PPP’s poll results indicate. Say hello Gov. Kookinelli? Not quite yet, but unless we figure out a way to turn out the Democratic “base” in huge numbers in 2013 (hey, miracles can happen!), or unless Mark Warner runs (unlikely), it very well could come to pass. Ugh.