Public Policy Polling is out with their look at possible candidates and matchups for 2013 here in Virginia. The highlights are:
1. If Mark Warner wants to be governor again, all he has to do is say so. Warner has a 2:1 approval rating (52%-26%), and “leads Bolling 53-32 and Cuccinelli 53-33.” In other words, it’s game over for Republicans if Warner runs. Also, if Warner runs, presumably Democrats would have an excellent shot at winning “downballot” – LG, AG, and House of Delegates races – as well. So…Draft Mark Warner for Governor 2013? 🙂
2. Bill Bolling would be a significantly stronger gubernatorial candidate for Republicans than Ken Cuccinelli. Bolling leads Terry McAuliffe 36%-34% (+2 points), while Cuccinelli trails McAuliffe 41%-36% (-5 points). That’s a 7-point advantage to Bolling compared to Cuccinelli. But will Republicans be smart enough to nominate Bolling, not Cuccinelli? That brings us to…
3. “Cuccinelli continues to be the overwhelming favorite for the Republican nomination next year. He’s polling at 51% to 23% for Bolling and 4% for Salahi with 22% of voters undecided.” Even worse for Bolling, Cuccinelli’s “appeal to the far right wing of the GOP will make him difficult to defeat in a primary. Among ‘very conservative’ voters he’s at 64% to 20% for Bolling.” In other words, barring an enormous turnaround by Bolling, he will NOT be the Republican nominee for Virginia governor next year. Ken Cuccinelli will be.
4. I’m not sure why PPP, which does great work, polled Tom Perriello – who I haven’t even heard the tiniest peep is thinking of running for governor in 2013 – and not Chap Petersen, who I most certainly HAVE heard “peeps” about running. Odd.
4a. Also, who cares about Tareq Salah? His candidacy is a complete joke.
5. As for approval ratings, other than Mark Warner, nobody’s particularly setting the house on fire. Cuccinelli’s at minus 7 (30%-37%), as is McAuliffe (13%-20%). Bolling’s at plus 2 (36%-34%) — meh.
Bottom line, according to PPP: If Warner runs, it would be a “daunting challenge for
any Republican.” If not, then “Democrats’ chances are fifty-fifty otherwise, but they have to be hoping to face Ken Cuccinelli.” That sounds about right to me.