A new poll from Democratic-leaning PPP has Barack Obama pulling away from Mitt Romney in Virginia:
Barack Obama won Virginia by six points in 2008, and if he were up against his almost-certain 2012 opponent Mitt Romney today, he would win it again by a similar margin. If Romney hopes to close that gap, the state’s governor Bob McDonnell would not help, and there is no question that one potential running mate would hurt: Eric Cantor. The Constitution Party candidacy of the state’s former congressman Virgil Goode could also draw votes away from Romney, to Obama’s advantage.
Obama tops Romney by eight points, 51-43, up from a six-point (48-42) lead when PPP last polled the state last Demember. These results come among an electorate that reports voting for Obama by only four points over John McCain four years ago.
McDonnell is a somewhat popular governor, with 46% approving and 36% disapproving of his job performance. But his presence on the ticket would only help Romney tread water at a 51-43 disadvantage. Cantor, on the other hand, is unpopular. 27% see him favorably and 41% unfavorably statewide, and he would boost Obama’s standing by four points (52-40). Obama would also lead Romney by twelve points if Goode makes the ballot in the state. Goode would pull 5% to Obama’s 50% and Romney’s 38%.
It’s worth spelling out what PPP hints at here – the voters they polled actually represent a slightly more conservative group than the one that went to the polls in November 2008. That would indicate that even if this year’s Obama campaign fails to match their 2008 turnout operation, Obama would still win Virginia handily.
The media’s Conventional Wisdom states that Democrats like Tim Kaine should be worried about distancing themselves from Barack Obama. Looking at these poll results, you have to wonder if that gets it backwards – should Virginia Republicans be distancing themselves from Mitt Romney?