An analysis of five statewide polls taken after Labor Day for the race for Virginia Governor reveal very interesting results. Linked below are the five that used Likely Voters (LVs) as their polling universe. A sixth poll conducted by Fox News used Registered Voters (RVs) and that universe is not as useful as the other five.
2013 Election Result
Democrat Terry McAuliffe won 47.7 to 45.2 over Republican Ken Cuccinelli or 2.5%. Libertarian Robert Sarvis received 6.5% of the vote that year.
To better understand where things really are in the races, the most logical thing to do is to average the five polls because the polls are so different.
Lt.Governor (D) Ralph Northam’s numbers go 47, 44, 51, 44, and 42 or 45.6 average
(R) Ed Gillespie’s numbers have a tighter range 41, 43, 41, 39, and 41 or 41.2 average
Northam leads by 4.4%
If one considers the Quinnipiac Poll (51-41) to be an outlier, as some folks in both parties suggest, and remove it from the average the race is 44.25 to 41.25.
Northam leads by 3%.
One has to remember that in 2016, some outliers were more accurate than others.
Reading through all the polls, one finds big differences in Party ID and how independents vote.
The average Democratic ID is +5.6 over the GOP ID with the Quinnipiac Poll and +5.25 without it.
One question in the University of Mary Washington poll stood out – the Gov3 question on page six. It asks “Regardless of how you might vote in the 2017 election for governor in Virginia, do you think most of your neighbors will for (Ed Gillespie, the Republican, most will vote for (Ralph Northam, the Democrat), or will most split their votes? (Randomized on earlier question)
Is that the question to track or is it an outlier?
Top 20 Ranking of House of Delegates Races for 2017
Big thanks to our friend and ally the Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP) – their data sourcing is fantastic! These rankings have NOT changed since last week.
First Number is the Ranking followed by the District #
The next line is the district performance in 2014 US Senate, 2016 POTUS, and 2013 Governor
COH = Cash On Hand advantage as of August 30.
[ +] is the performance relative to GOP Gubernatorial nominee in 2013.
Bold is a key data point
Two groups have announced they are targeting certain races in Virginia this fall.
*Let America Vote – ten races all in Northern Virginia. Their focus is targeting “voting rights supporters”
*Progressive Turn Out Project – ten races – six in Northern Virginia, two in Hampton Roads, and two in Richmond (western Henrico) Their focus is “inconsistent Democratic voters”
**Both – five races
Warner 47 Clinton 54 McAuliffe 48
COH Roem +67k
Roem 62k In Kind
2015 Marshall won 56-43
2013 Marshall won by 498 votes or 1.9% [+4]
This race continues to be the most competitive House of Delegates contest this year due to the incumbent’s relative weakness during the last gubernatorial election in 2013 and the funding raising prowess of Roem. Confirming this is the financial support she is getting from her party.
#2 (up from #3)
Warner 52 Clinton 58 McAuliffe 51
COH Delaney +7k
2015 – LeMunyon uncontested
2013 LeMunyon won 54-45 [+11]
LeMunyon’s crossover appeal was higher than Greason’s in 2013 and that’s why he was ranked lower than the 32nd; however, Delaney has expanded her Cash on Hand advantage since the last report and she is receiving solid support from the Democrats. LeMunyon’s lack of an opponent in 2015 could point to some initial inertia relative to Greason.
#3 (down from #2)
Warner 50 Clinton 56 McAuliffe 51
COH Greason +17k
2015 Greason won 53-47 vs same candidate from 2013
2013 Greason won 51-49 [+7]
Greason had a close call in 2013 after being uncontested in 2011. Reid outraised Greason in this report, but the amount of money that will be spent here should increase significantly. Neither campaign will want to go up on expensive Northern Virginia television so look for heavy spends on direct mail, social media, and paid staff.
#4 (no change)
Warner 48 Clinton 51 McAuliffe 49
COH Guzman 10k
2015 Lingamfelter won 53-47
2013 Lingamfelter won by 228 votes or 1% over now State Senator Jeremy McPike (D)
Guzman is receiving significant support from the Democrats and shows more COH than incumbent Lingamfelter. Lingamfelter had a close call in 2013 versus now Senator Jeremy McPike and won by six points in 2015. Guzman had almost 3000 contributors under $100 in this report who kicked in over $33,000 which combined with $54,000 In Kind support – the question for this race is will the outside support translate into votes. Key race to watch nationally.
#5 (up from #7)
COH Hurst 14k
2015 Yost won 58-42
2013 Libertarian candidate for Governor Robert Sarvis won 10%
2013 Yost won 52-47 [+10]
Challenger Chris Hurst put up some big fundraising numbers -again- in the 12th which is centered around Blacksburg where incumbent Delegate Yost had a relatively close call in 2013. This race is already up on relatively inexpensive television in the New River Valley. The [+10] put up by Yost shows his crossover appeal.
Warner 45 Clinton 50 Cuccinelli 48
COH Anderson +69k
2015 Anderson uncontested
2013 Anderson won 54-46 [+6]
The 51st is going to be a barn burner. The Democrats have fielded a solid challenger in Hala Ayala and are funding her. Incumbent Delegate Anderson who has a strong work ethic. Anderson finished 6 points ahead of Cuccinelli who barely won the district in 2013. Polling down the stretch will determine just how much support Ayala receives in the final weeks.
#7 (previously unranked)
2 – **OPEN – Del. Dudenhefer retiring (R-Prince William/Stafford)
Warner 52 Clinton 56 McAuliffe 53
COH Foy 26k
2015 Dudenhefer won by 125 votes
2013 Dudenhefer lost to Michael Futrell by 223 votes. Dudenhefer [+7]
This race was unranked in our last ranking due to the Republican nominee’s withdrawal. Had the Republicans not not put in the resources they have, this race would be off the board. Similarly, the Democrats invested late in the period which shows a race in flux. The 2nd would normally be ranked higher and this race could move up the rankings.
#8 – (Previously unranked)
42 – *OPEN – Del. Albo retiring (R-Fairfax)
Warner 50 Clinton 57 McAuliffe 50
COH Tran +43k
2015 Albo won 63-37
2013 Albo won 60-40 [+16]
The one question – from our last ranking – has been answered in the 42nd District. The GOP is sending in some resources to fund the open seat of Delegate Dave Albo who won by 20 points in 2013. This race will be ranked higher if the resources pick up on both sides. Democrats love their chances for a pick up with their nominee Kathy Tran while the Republicans have fielded Lolita Mancheno-Smoak. This district should start to see some national attention as two minority women vie for a possible Democratic pick up.
#9 (up from #11)
Trump 47 Gillespie 50 Cuccinelli 48
COH – Turpin 44k
2017 Holcomb defeated Turpin 53-47 in Special Election
2015 Now Congressman Scott Taylor uncontested
2013 Taylor won 56-43 [+8]
Holcomb defeated his opponent, Turpin, in special election earlier this year. Clearly, Turpin found the secret sauce on fundraising following the 2016 election and continues to hold a sizable lead against the incumbent. As of yet, the 85th is not targeted by outside groups but the Democrats did invest late in the reporting period and dropped $37,800 just yesterday. This race could break the Top Five before it is
72 – *OPEN – Del. Jimmie Massie retiring (R-Henrico)
Warner 45 Clinton 49 Cuccinelli 46
COH – Whitlock 10k
2015 Delegate Massie was uncontested
2013 Delegate Massie won 93%
2013 Libertarian for Governor Sarvis won 12%
VERY interesting dynamics in the Open Seat 72nd which has not had a contest for the last two cycles. The Democrats have started to invest here while Whitlock loaned himself another $35,000.
#11 (down from #5)
Warner 47 Clinton 52 Cuccinelli 48
COH Miller +186k
2015 Miller won 58-41
2013 Miller won 54-44 [+6]
Miller has expanded his COH advantage to almost $200,000 while Carter’s fundraising seems weak. This race should be watched down the stretch for any late support for the challenger Carter.
#12 (up from #16)
Clinton 60 Warner 52 McAuliffe 53
2015 Bell defeated Choung Nguyen 50-48 or 320 votes, total spend $1.1MM
2013 David Ramadan defeated Bell by 187 votes, total spend $1.8MM [+8]
Republicans held this Loudoun district up to two years ago and Bell barely won in 2015. Democrats spent heavily at the end of this reporting period – Bell had $70k In Kind support. This diversion of resources is an important factor in other House races which could have received this support. Kolla’s fundraising is keeping this race close and impacting others.
#13 (down from #9)
Warner 50 Clinton 49 McAuliffe 48
COH Yancey +176k
2015 Yancey won 57-42
2013 Yancey won 51-49 or 543 votes [+4]
2013 Libertarian for Governor Sarvis won 7% and there is a Libertarian on the ballot in the 94th.
This race saw the original Democratic nominee withdraw and Simonds, Yancey’s opponent from 2015, enter. Yancey still holds a commanding COH advantage, but Simonds put up some respectable numbers to somewhat narrow the gap. Until the Democrats decide to invest heavily here, this race will remain out of the top 10.
#14 (down from #12)
COH Mullin +136k
2013 now Sen. Monty Mason (D) defeated incumbent Republican Mike Watson 52-48. Watson [+8]
$1.8MM total spend
2016 Special Election Mullin defeated Cordasco 53-46
This is a rematch of the 2016 Special Election following the election of then Delegate Monty Mason to the Senate after Senator John Miller passed away. Republicans like their candidate Cordasco and have started to invest thinking she lost by seven in 2016 due to the the Clinton margins. Mullin, on the other hand, expanded his COH advantage. While this race went down in our rankings that is really a hold due to rise of the two previously unranked races. Could be a late breaker. Cuccinelli got 40% in the 2013 gubernatorial contest.
#15 (down from #9)
Warner 50 Clinton 49 McAuliffe 49
COH Villanueva +27k
2015 Villanueva won 57-43 in 2013 rematch
2013 Villanueva won 54-45 [+9]
Although Villanueva had a negative story run in the local paper, Democrats – to date – have not invested heavily here. This district was to be targeted for “inconsistent Democratic voters” and could move back up the board. Possible sleeper district.
#16 (up from #18)
Warner 45 Clinton 49 Cuccinelli 49
COH Minchew +128k
2015 Minchew won 62-38
2013 Minchew won 57-43 [+8]
Minchew has over 220k in the bank but Gooditis has been very thrifty with her money and has 92,000 COH. The Democrats have started to spend some money here – this could be a race to watch down the stretch.
#16 (down from #13)
Warner 43 Clinton 51 Cuccinelli 51
COH Hugo +104k
2015 Hugo won 65-35 vs same candidate as 2013
2013 Hugo won 60-40 [+9]
Cuccinelli won this district and incumbent Delegate Hugo pulled 9 points ahead of him. Tanner has received solid Democratic support in the targeted 40th while Hugo continues his triple digit fundraising advantage along with key endorsements from police, fire fighters, and teachers.
#18 (Down from #15)
Warner 46 Clinton 51 McAuliffe 52
COH – Loupassi +151k
2015 Loupassi won 61-37 vs same opponent as 2013 who ran as an Independent
2013 Loupassi won 63-37 [+21]
Loupassi finished 21 points ahead of Cuccinelli in 2013 and expanded his fundraising advantage. Adams received some Democratic Caucus support late in the period while posting a solid fundraising report overall.
#19 (Down from #12)
Warner 46 Clinton 50 Cuccinelli 46
COH O’Bannon +85k
2015 O’Bannon uncontested
2013 O’Bannon won 94%
2013 Gubernatorial Libertarian Candidate Robert Sarvis won 12% in this district
Delegate O’Bannon, uncontested since 2009, continues to hold a strong fundraising lead. Rodman received some Democratic Caucus support late in the period following the four way nomination.
#20 (previously unranked)
Warner 51 Clinton 56 McAuliffe 52
COH Murphy +173k
2015 – Murphy beat Republican Craig Parisot by less than 200 votes with a total spend of $2 million.
2013 Congresswoman Barbara Comstock won by 422 or +1.4% over Murphy Comstock [+8]
From our last ranking –
“Unless there is a shocking fundraising report, Delegate Kathleen Murphy is well positioned in the 34th to increase her winning total from 2015.”
Well, the report this period is not “shocking” but the House Democratic Caucus did spend $20,000 late in the period which indicates some weakness in the district. Murphy did expand her fundraising lead in a district that spent over $2MM in 2015.