Home 2013 races With 3 Weeks to Go, It’s John Bell 47%-David Ramadan 47%

With 3 Weeks to Go, It’s John Bell 47%-David Ramadan 47%


The following memo is from the John Bell for Delegate campaign in the 87th district. Clearly, it’s never easy to beat an incumbent, but hopefully a strong GOTV program and a couple more weeks of talking to voters about the clear difference between the candidates will do the trick. And yes, there are huge differences, given that Ramadan is a Cuccinelli style (see photo) right-wing nutjob (with the usual, horrible votes on everything we care about, according to Project Vote Smart), yet somehow he’s holding down a 57% Obama/Kaine district. On November 5, it’s time to change that! (note: Ramadan won by only 51 votes in the 2011 House of Delegates election, so make sure you vote on November 5!)


Date: October 14, 2013  

To: Interested Parties  

From: Andrew Myers & Lauren Spangler

Status of the Contest – VA HD87

According to the results of our recent survey of 400 likely November voters, Democrat John Bell and Republican David Ramadan are locked in an absolute statistical dead heat today with both candidates tied at 47 percent apiece.1

The contest is driven in large part by a substantial 12 point gender gap, with Bell leading among women by 6 points, 51 to 45 percent, and Ramadan leading among men by 6 points, 43 to 49 percent. Also of note today is that among moderate Republicans, Ramadan is experiencing serious defections, with one quarter (27 percent) supporting Bell at this stage – troubling news  for Ramadan indeed.

Underscoring the competitive nature of this contest is the fact that the political  environment appears to favor Democrats, unlike the trends two years ago. First off, this survey finds a more favorable generic ballot for Democrats, with a generic Democrat besting a generic Republican candidate for Delegate by 6 points, 47 to 41 percent, which in fact is the most favorable ballot we have seen in this district to date. Further, at the top of the ticket, Democrat Terry McAuliffe leads Republican Ken Cuccinelli by a 7 point edge, 49 to 42 percent. Secondly, though out of Ramadan’s control in this Northern Virginia district – where there are many federal workers – we find that 42 percent of voters say that the federal government shutdown makes them more likely to vote against party-line Republicans, 33 percent much more so, reflective of the intensity of these feelings.

Bottom line, this contest is incredibly ompetitive and is likely to come down to the wire come Election Day, just as the contest here did two years ago.


1 These findings are based on a survey of 400 likely November general election voters in Virginia’s 87th  House of Delegates District. Calling took place from October 9 – 10, 2013, and interviews were conducted by professional interviewers supervised by Myers Research | Strategic Services staff. The data were stratified to reflect the projected geographical contribution to the total expected vote. The margin of error associated with these data at a 95 in 100 percent confidence level is +/- 4.9 percent. The margin of error for subgroups is greater and varies

  • Harkov311

    I got a few mailers from him back in August that really said nothing whatsoever about him other than that he was the incumbent delegate and talking about how hard he was working (didn’t say on what bills, or even which party he was in, which I found odd for a Tea Partier), and that was the last I heard of him.

    Bell, meanwhile, after a month or so of introducing himself, has aggressively attacked Ramadan in direct mailings, almost every one of them about Ramadan’s ethics investigations and his zeal to get rid of birth control.  And Ramadan has’t sent any response mailers since the attacks began, which I find odd since my wife and I just moved to his district in June, and he’d have every reason to not let his opponent define him first.

    Ramadan seems to be hoping he can skate by on incumbency and voter ignorance of who he is and how he votes.  But Bell’s keeping the pressure on, and here’s hoping he wins.

  • FreeDem

    It’s not apples and apples, but compare the race in the 87th to the race in the 34th. Luckily, the heavy hand of the DPVA only allows for certain pollsters to be used by their races, so it’s the same polling firm.

    In the 87th, Bell is tied 47%-47%, with Terry up 49% to 42%, a 7 point spread.

    In the 34th, Murphy is up 48%-45%, with Terry up 53% to 38%, a 15 point spread.

    The 87th is the more Democratic of the two districts in high turnout elections, with Obama winning 56% of the vote, to virtually a tie in the 34th. But in 2009, Deeds and the rest of the Democratic ticket did better in the 34th than the 87th.


    Because the 87th is far more diverse district, where the higher population of Hispanic and other minorities don’t turnout in lower turnout elections like the governor’s race.

    A 15 point spread in the 34th shows Terry killing Cuccinelli among white suburbanites, convincing a lot of Romney voters to finally vote based on social issues and not their pocketbook. Only a 7 point spread in the 87th is a sign that minorities are still not engaged in this low turnout affair, a worrying sign for potential Democratic pickups in other parts of Virginia, including Danville and Halifax.

    If a strong edge with white suburbanites like those in the 34th is the trend on election day, I’m going to predict that a number of other fringe metro races, including in Richmond and Hampton Roads, are going to be closer than expected.