Home 2017 Races Tom Perriello “Internal” Poll Shows VA Gov. Race Neck and Neck (37%-36%)...

Tom Perriello “Internal” Poll Shows VA Gov. Race Neck and Neck (37%-36%) with 6 Days to Go


Take these numbers however you’d like – believe them, don’t believe them, grains or pillars of salt, whatever – but no question they’re an interesting contrast with Ralph Northam’s “internals,” which reportedly have him up around 9 points, and the recent Washington Post poll which had Perriello up (by 2 points among “likely voters” and 6 points among registered voters). Also note that the trend lines are different in the Perriello “internal” than in the public polling, with the “internal” showing the race tightening rapidly in recent weeks while the public polls have showed the race to be neck and neck for months now. So, definitely different narratives, although both the Northam and Perriello “internals” DO show the race tightening, and there’s been very little public polling, so who knows what’s up there? Personally, I think this really comes down to trying to figure out the “universe” of voters on June 13 – how large and what’s its composition; and that ain’t easy to do! With that, here’s the memo from Perriello’s pollster…

P.S. I’d definitely expect undecided voters to break for Perriello, the big question is by what margin (e.g., 6 out of 10? 7 out of 10? or as this “internal” has it, 9 out of 10?). As for the shift in African-American support towards Perriello, that might be explained by the heavy rotation of TV ads showing Barack Obama campaigning for Perriello in 2010. Other ideas?

  • Sharon Ponton


  • Mike H

    Perriello is by far the stronger candidate and, most importantly, the stronger general election candidate. He’s celebrated by independent progressives and even some Trump-voting conservatives for his opposition to the pipelines and Dominion $ in particular. That issue alone has huge environmental, economic (far more job and small business growth in wind and solar), campaign finance integrity and private land protection implications. It also aligns with the 66% of Virginians who believe it is inappropriate for VA candidates for governor to accept campaign contributions from Dominion – the same regulated energy monopoly the governor will be charged with regulating if elected (Northam is also a Dominion investor!!!). Why in the world would the Dems neutralize that advantage versus Gillespie?!?!? The only gubernatorial candidate who takes more Dominion $ than Gillespie is Northam!!!!

    Since opposing the pipelines and rejecting Dominion $, Perriello’s positions have been adopted by ALL THREE Dem Lt Gov candidates as well as 60+ candidates for the VA House of Delegates. That’s leadership!!!

    Also amazes me to hear Northam supporters demand that Perriello supporters and other VA voters pledge to vote Northam if nominated due to the threat of Gillespie. Aren’t these the same Northam supporters who so easily forgave Northam’s two votes for Gillespie (by virtue of his top position in the George W. Bush administration Northam twice voted for) because he was only a “private citizen” at that time? Do our “private citizen” votes matter now when they apparently didn’t then?

  • notjohnsmosby

    If you’re publicly releasing internal polls a few days before an election that show you tied, you’re going to lose.

    • Uh, Northam’s campaign has been releasing internals fairly frequently; this is the first time Perriello’s campaign has responded (in part b/c the Northam folks were asking on Twitter earlier today for Perriello’s campaign to show its internals). So…no.

  • Cindy

    I don’t think the African-American support has to do with the Obama ad, as much as Perriello’s advocacy. He has specifically reached out to the community, and has called for a race relations commission. Plus many of his policies (like $15 minimum) are especially relevant to the community. He has strong support among many BLM groups.

  • I’ve got a scary feeling that depending on which way this goes for Governor and House of Delegates (speaking about PWC specifically) Primaries, there is going to be further division (similar to last year), and we will lose some strong candidates due to lack of support (leaving the local Democratic Party). I hope I am wrong, but I’m concerned.

  • Elaine Owens

    I have a gut feeling that this primary for governor will be very close, with the contenders only a couple of points apart. One good thing is that, for the most part, the candidates have not been attacking one another in ways that would harm the ultimate winner in the general election or depress turnout for the primary. Turnout is key. The percentage of voters who bother to go to the polls is so low in a Virginia primary. In enthusiasm among his voters, Tom Perriello certainly has the edge. It remains to be seen if the Perriello campaign can turn out its voters since much of the establishment of the Democratic party will use whatever machinery it has (creaky and questionable at best) for Northam. I’ll be interested to see turnout in the 6th and 9th congressional districts and whether the pipeline controversy will encourage normally Republican primary voters to cross over and vote for Perriello. That is really a hot-button issue in that part of the state, so hot-button that Morgan Griffith has joined with Tim Kaine and Mark Warner to propose legislation to change the way FERC does business. (Will wonders never cease?) Of course, Morgan can always reconcile that action with his worship of coal and coal barons. Maybe he actually recognizes that the largest enemy of dirty coal is the slightly less dirty natural gas.