Home 2013 races A Virginia Polling Day as Bizarre and Wacky as This Bizarre and...

A Virginia Polling Day as Bizarre and Wacky as This Bizarre and Wacky Campaign!


This entire governor’s campaign has been bizarre and wacky, and at this point just about NOTHING would surprise me. Still, a spate of polls have been released in the past couple days that are just all over the place in every way: methodology, “top-line” numbers, “internals,” trend lines, quality level, you name it. Here’s a quick summary.

1. Washington Post poll (10/24-10/27): McAuliffe up 12 points (51%-39%) with Sarvis pulling in 8%. This poll basically has Terry running away with it. Hmmm. I mean, I’m not a huge fan of the Post, but I don’t know of any particular reason to dismiss its polling either.

2. Quinnipiac poll (10/22-10/28): McAuliffe up 4 points (45%-41%), with Sarvis at 9%. Generally speaking, Q-Polls are pretty good, but this one did some funky things, like made the male-female split 50/50, which is almost certainly not going to happen. They also seriously tweaked the GOP/Dem breakdown – in the direction of the GOP – since their last poll a week ago. Not sure what to make of any of that, but it shows the race tightening a bit, and Cuccinelli’s fixating on this poll and trying to make the most of his “Mitt-mentum!” LOL

3. Roanoke College “poll” (10/21-10/27): I put “poll” in quotes because this outfit has a track record of being wildly all over the place, with a strong Republican skew to boot. Yet somehow they have McAuliffe up 15 points (46%-31%), which can’t possibly be true. So weird. They’ve got Sarvis at 9%, which at least makes sense. Remember, Roanoke College “polls” had Kaine and Obama both DOWN five points in Virginia just days before last year’s election (which Kaine and Obama both won); showed a 15-point swing towards Romney and Allen in Virginia during October 2012; and was ranked by Nate Silver as the 6th worst “poll” in the entire country (out of about 90 polls), with an “average error” and pro-GOP “bias” of 8.1 points each. So keep all that in mind when considering these “poll” results, whether they show the “blue team” up or down.

4. Hampton University poll (10/26-10/27): Has McAuliffe up 6 points (42%-36%), with Sarvis at 12%. I’m really not sure what to make of Hampton U. polls, but I’m leaning strongly towards “not much.” I mean, these top lines just don’t make much sense – Northam up only 6 points over E.W. Jackson? No way. Also, last month’s Hampton poll had Jackson UP over Northam 39%-38%. That’s even LESS likely, bordering on delusional. As a political friend of mine and I were chatting about a little while ago, there are a ton of small colleges and universities out there that like doing polls, as they’re fairly inexpensive and reliably get the college’s/university’s name in the news. As an added bonsu, the college/university can also claim the polls are educational for their students. The problem is, most of them are crap. Like this one, as far as I can tell.

5. Rasmussen Reports poll (10/28-10/29): Speaking of crap, there’s always Republican hack “pollster” Rasmussen, which incredibly had McAuliffe up an implausible 17 points in its last poll. Anyway, they now have it at a 7-point lead for T-Mac (McAuliffe 43%, Cuccinelli 36%, Sarvis 12%), thus a 10-point narrowing in a week. Yeah, well, it’s Republican Rasmussen Reports, so what else would we expect but weird and wacky?

So where does that leave us? Well, probably the best thing is to stick with an average, like Real Clear Politics, which has McAuliffe up 9.1 points, not counting the Roanoke +15, the Hampton +6, or the Rasmussen +7. Got that? 😉  Oh, and keep in mind that Cuccinelli hasn’t led in a poll since late spring/early summer, and that McAuliffe’s campaign has supposedly built a superb GOTV operation. Still, the key is who shows up, so make sure you remind everyone you know to vote on Tuesday, for the entire Democratic ticket of course. 🙂

  • demomatic

    Hampton sure does a good job with colorful graphs though- 😉

  • The Richmonder

    Starting Saturday morning, Nov. 2nd, I will be working EVERY shift through the closing of the polls on Nov. 5th.

    How many GOTV shifts have you signed up for?  

    If we do the work we will win, but if we don’t we will lose.  It’s time to step up and work for victory.

  • According to VPAP, Terry McAuliffe brought in $510,373 in large donations today. Ken Cuccinelli? $12,237. Ouch. As for the AG race, Mark Herring brought in $120,000 vs. just $5,000 for Mark Obenshain. Double ouch. No wonder my TV sceen is deluged with ads attacking Cooch and Obenshain, with basically nothing in the other direction. Such as shame, huh? 🙂


    Update: Wednesday: Big Money Roundup

    Date: 10/30/2013

    The following transactions were reported to the State Board of Elections between 5:02 p.m. on Tuesday and 5:02 p.m. Wednesday:

    Last-Minute Donations to Candidates

    VPAP has posted pre-election finance disclosures for candidates running in the November 5 election. Starting on October 25, candidates are required to report any large donation within 24 hours of receipt. The threshold for reporting is $5,000 for statewide candidate, $1,000 for House candidates, and $500 for local candidates.


    Due to the high volume of transactions reported, VPAP is listing below only individual contributions of $25,000 or more. A complete list of donations to statewide candidates is available here.

    Ken Cuccinelli for Governor – Total Reported Today: $12,237

    No individual contributions exceeding $25,000

    Terry McAuliffe for Governor – Total Reported Today: $510,373

    $150,000 from Democratic Party of Virginia (in-kind: mail)

    $74,800 from Virginia Sierra Club PAC (in-kind: online communication services)

    $50,000 from Stephen M. Silberstein

    $45,773 from SEIU COPE (in-kind: canvass activities)

    $44,000 from United Steelworkers (in-kind: personnel costs)

    $25,000 from Parke F. Eager

    $25,000 from John R. Grisham

    $25,000 from HCR Manor Care

    $25,000 from Henry R. Munoz III

    E.W. Jackson for Lt. Governor – Total Reported Today: $0

    Ralph Northam for Lt. Governor – Total Reported Today: $0

    Mark Herring for Attorney General – Total Reported Today: $120,000

    $100,000 from Planned Parenthood Votes (in-kind: radio ad – production and purchase of air time)

    Mark Obenshain for Attorney General – Total Reported Today: $5,000

    No individual contributions exceeding $25,000

  • demomatic

    My mother (having voted in every single Dem primary on record) has received no less than 18 mailers from Del. Filler-Corn’s wacky opponent, all paid for by the RPV.

    Good news!