Home 2017 Races New Poll Has Tom Perriello Up 54%-46%; Corey Stewart (!) Up 42%-41%

New Poll Has Tom Perriello Up 54%-46%; Corey Stewart (!) Up 42%-41%


First, I’m going to summarize some key findings from this new poll, then I’m going to lay out a few reasons why you might – or might not – believe it.

  • “On the Democratic side, Tom Perriello has a clear, 8-point lead, 54–46, over Ralph Northam. Former congressman Perriello does well among a wide array of Democrats: young voters, former Bernie Sanders supporters, black voters, and voters unenthusiastic about the economy.”
  • “Tom Perriello’s lead among young voters is huge: he leads by nearly 30 points among voters under 45. Voters under 45 made up 44% of the Virginia electorate last November, and our models predict that they will make up 39% of the electorate on Tuesday.”
  • “Northam’s margin among the oldest voters — those 65 and up — is indeed above 20 points. But Northam’s lead is far smaller among those between 55 and 64, and voters between 45 and 54 are evenly split between the two Democratic candidates.”
  • “Perriello also fares quite well among minority voters, leading by 20% or more among blacks, Hispanics, and Asian Americans. Collectively, these three groups make up nearly half of the Democratic electorate in Virginia. Whites planning to vote in the Democratic primary are evenly split between Perriello and Northam.”
  • “On the Republican side, we see a very tight race (in contrast to other pollssuggesting Ed Gillespie will rout his opponents), and we give a very slight edge to Corey Stewart. Stewart’s advantage comes from his enthusiastic base: his supporters are both more likely to vote and less likely to change their minds. We project Stewart ahead of former RNC Chair Ed Gillespie, 42–41, with Frank Wagner in third place at 16%.”

And now some reasons you might – or might not – put credibility in this poll.

  • It’s an almost brand-new polling outfit, so no track record.
  • On the other hand, the first poll they did – of the Montana At-Large race recently – was very accurate (they forecast a 5-point win for Republican Greg Gianforte over Democrat Rob Quist, and the final results were a 6-point win for Gianforte).
  • Also seemingly lending the poll credibility: “Change Research was founded by two former LinkedIn data scientists, to make public opinion polling accessible to candidates at every level. Change Research finds voters online (cheap!) and uses data science to ensure a representative sample (accurate!).”
  • Looking at the “cross tabs” of this poll, nothing in particular’s jumping out at me as glaringly wrong on the Democratic side. Also, a lot seems right when you look at age distribution of support (e.g., younger voters heavily for Tom; older voters strongly for Ralph), the issues distribution (e.g., those who list environment/Dominion as top concerns go HEAVILY for Tom; those who rank gun safety as most important go for Ralph heavily); ideological (e.g., those who voted for Bernie Sanders go heavily for Tom; those who voted for Hillary Clinton in the primary lean slightly to Ralph); geographic (e.g., Tom wins Charlottesville big time and does very well in rural Virginia; Ralph wins Norfolk by a significant margin), etc.
  • On other other hand – and this is by far my biggest concern with this poll – what on EARTH is going on with the Republican race for governor???  Corey Stewart ahead of Ed Gillespie, when every other poll has found Gillespie crushing Stewart?
  • Maybe this helps explain those seemingly outlier-ish results? “Overall enthusiasm on the Republican side is light — and Corey Stewart may fill the void…Support for Trump ties closely with support for Stewart. 14% of Virginia’s electorate rates Trump’s performance a 9 or 10 out of 10. These Trump fans overwhelmingly plan to vote Republican on Tuesday, and they strongly support Corey Stewart, giving him a 15-point lead.”
  • This gives me more confidence; huge number of voters surveyed! “3623 adults were surveyed. Unregistered respondents were excluded from the ultimate sample, leaving a total of 3232 voters.”

Bottom line: I see no particular reason to discount this poll, but I’m not sure I’d totally accept it either, given the lack of a track record and its cutting-edge online polling methodology (as they describe it: “Founded by two of LinkedIn’s first data scientists, Change Research brings an innovative, Silicon Valley style to the traditional field of polling. Big changes are coming!”).



  • Kindler

    I’ll believe the election results when I see them. Low turnout off year elections are notoriously hard to predict — all depends on who shows up to vote…

  • Kara Jones

    I was born in Virginia and have lived here all my life. I have never been into politics until now….When I seen Corey Stewart and I watched all the debates even the Democratic..I knew we had to have him as our Governor because he believes in everything I believe in.

    • old_redneck

      Kara: Perhaps you need to spend more time on grammar lessons and less on politics.

      • HueyLives

        You need to be less old and more redneck.

      • rondaerickson

        Maybe you should be less rude Kara, and actually have something more to say about the topic than be such a pompous ass.

        • Arthur Bagnall

          Corey Stewart is a dyed in the wool fascist and a white supremacist.

  • HueyLives

    I would dearly love to believe this, but can’t find any info on this outfit other than their press releases. That said, I can believe there are a lot of rebs and Trumpeters out there wild for Corey. Who on earth can get excited about “Enron Ed,” that DC creature?

  • joseph matthews

    I live in VA and have not notice any campaign ads, “weird.” Anyhow, I will be voting for Corey.

  • True Blue

    Blue Virginia must be the only game in town reporting new polling; lots of visitors here who didn’t understand the purpose of this progressive blog. Whatever.

    • This one’s drawn some right wingers…

  • Edward N Virginia

    Thanks for making note of the ‘older’ / ‘younger’ differences. The Charlottesville area ‘progressives’ – not just young progressives, but substantially a ‘young/er’ cohort – under the Indivisible moniker sent out a pool to people who have signed up with them – a number that is likely thousand or thousands (so great job!) – with a list of issues ‘you’d be interested to work on with others’. Was there a issue category about ‘aging’ or ‘seniors’ or ‘elderly’ issues or concerns (which, objectively would be a great huge number of people): NO THERE WAS NOT! Totally ignored, left out and abandoned by the young progressives.

    • arslongavitabrevis

      Have you looked at the state of the planet the ‘olders’ have left us with? We’ll be educating our grandkids with sticks for pens and dirt for textbooks.

      • Edward N Virginia

        THAT, dearie poo, is a strong argument for euthanizing all ‘orders’ and, btw, fits right in with killing off all White people. STATE that as your policy guideposts and see how many votes you get, honey lamb. You did just say that … so go ahead and make it your party platform. Others have.

  • Donald Joy

    Go Cory Stewart!! He’s the only candidate who’s not anti-white!!