Overall, pretty good results from the new VA-10 Monmouth poll out this morning:
- “Wexton holds a 50% to 44% lead over Comstock among likely voters using Monmouth’s standard midterm turnout model. Wexton extends her advantage to 52%-43% using a model that incorporates a turnout surge in Democratic precincts similar to the pattern seen in last year’s gubernatorial contest. A low turnout model shows Wexton with a smaller 50% to 46% edge. In June, Wexton held a 50% to 41% lead in the standard turnout model, a 51% to 40% lead in the surge model, and a 51% to 42% lead in the low turnout model.” Personally, I’m thinking we’ll see a Democratic turnout surge, like we did last year in Virginia, but I suppose it’s possible we could see somewhere between the standard midterm turnout and the surge. I find it VERY hard to believe that we’ll see anything like the “low turnout model.”
- “Wexton leads among women by a smaller margin now (57%-39%) than she did in June (65%-26%). Similarly, Comstock leads among men by a smaller margin now (50%-43%) than she did in June (56%-36%).” I find this one hard to understand; particularly given the Kavanaugh hearings, I would have thought women would have moved even more towards Wexton and possibly men more towards Comstock. But that didn’t happen, according to Monmouth’s poll.
- “Wexton leads among white voters who hold a college degree by 54% to 43%, which is a slight improvement over the 51%-42% edge she had with this group in June. Comstock has countered this by increasing her advantage among white voters without a college degree from a 55%-38% lead in June to a 60%-39% lead in the current poll.” This result isn’t surprising, as the Democratics are increasingly the party of college-educated voters and the Republicans increasingly the party of those without college degrees.
- “Likely voters are divided on their opinion of Comstock – 42% have a favorable view and 45% have an unfavorable view of her, with 13% expressing no opinion. This is an improvement from the 34% favorable and 43% unfavorable rating the incumbent received in June. VA-10 voters are more positive about the challenger, giving Wexton a 42% favorable and 31% unfavorable rating, with 27% having no opinion. The challenger’s favorable rating has increased by 6 points from 36% in June, but her
unfavorable rating has climbed even more – up 19 points from 12% over the summer.” It looks like Comstock and her allies’ barrage of false, negative, nasty advertising against Wexton has caused Wexton’s “unfavorable” ratings to increase, while Comstock’s ratings remain net negative (although better than in June; is Comstock’s fallacious – but omnipresent – ad about her supposedly being an “independent voice” helping her?)
- “Fully 8-in-10 likely VA-10 voters (81%) say that recent developments have not caused them to change their vote. Among the remainder, 5% say the Kavanaugh issue has made them more likely to support Wexton, 5% say it has made them more likely to support Comstock, and 3% say it has made them more undecided.” This surprises me, given the wall-to-wall coverage of the Kavanaugh hearings and the strong feelings expressed by so many people, especially since Comstock has basically stuck by her friend Brett-bro.
- “43% of VA-10 voters approve and 53% disapprove of the job Trump is doing as president. This has not changed much from the 46% approve and 52% disapprove rating he received in June. Just over 4-in-10 (43%) voters say that Comstock has been too supportive of Trump, which is basically unchanged from 45% who said the same in June.” I’m not surprised that Trump is unpopular in VA-10, but I *am* somewhat surprised that only 43% say Comstock has has been “too supportive of Trump” – she votes 98% of the time with Trump, for pete’s sake; if that’s not “too supportive of Trump,” what would be? 100%???
- “Nearly 3-in-4 (73%) voters say it is very important for them to cast a vote in the VA-10 House race that shows their feelings about the president. This includes 82% of Trump opponents and 74% of Trump supporters.” So yeah, as with most midterms, this is largely a referendum on the incumbent in the White House.
- “Currently, 82% of likely VA-10 voters say that have a lot of interest in the upcoming House election, which is up from 72% in June. This includes a 17 point increase in interest among Republicans (81%, up from 64%), a 10 point increase among Democrats (87%, up from 77%), and a 6 point increase among independents (79%, up from 73%).” Apparently, Republicans are closing the “enthusiasm gap,” which is not a great sign…but hopefully too little too late?
- “Despite the increase in GOP interest, voters in VA-10 still narrowly prefer having the Democrats in control of Congress (45%) rather than the Republicans (40%). This sentiment is virtually unchanged from June (43% Democratic control and 38% Republican control).” That’s a decent number, although 5 points is certainly not overwhelming.
Bottom line: Wexton is in the lead in this gold-standard poll (rated A+ by 538.com), but this race IS CERTAINLY NOT OVER. If you were even *thinking* of taking your eye off the ball here, maybe helping out in other congressional districts because you figured VA-10 was locked down – forget about that! Instead, let’s put the pedal to the metal, leave it all on the field, and every other political cliche you can think of the final 5 weeks of this crucial election in support of Jennifer Wexton!