With the VA GOP “unassembled convention” to select statewide nominees being held tomorrow (from 9 am to 4 pm) across the Commonwealth, where do things stand right now? It’s hard to say exactly, but we do have a few data points, including a brand-new one (see below):
- A few days ago, the “Trafalgar Group” polled 3,600 of the 53k VA GOP delegates…weighted by county and/or city depending on whether they choose to combine or not since it is not one delegate one vote.” Trafalgar, which did the poll for the Youngkin campaign, found the following results: Glenn Youngkin 37.7% – Pete Snyder 26.2% – Kirk Cox 10.1%- Amanda Chase 9.5%. This poll is good in that it polled actual delegates, as opposed to “primary” voters, and also because they weighted it. On the other hand, this poll is somewhat suspect because it was paid for by one of the campaigns, in this case Youngkin’s. So…make of it what you will.
- A Public Policy Polling survey the other day, which talked to 695 Republican “primary voters,” and which found the race at Chase 22%-Youngkin 21%-Snyder 16%-Cox 7%. The PPP poll comes with a major caveat, however – namely, that Virginia Republicans are not selecting their nominees via a *primary*, but via a weird, convoluted, “unassembled convention,” in which you can only vote if you registered in time, etc. So, this “universe” of convention voters could be significantly different than if Republicans had gone with a primary. It certainly will be a *smaller* universe of voters, perhaps in the 30k-50k range, as opposed to the 365k or so who voted in the June 2017 VA GOP primary for governor.
- Now, we’ve got this new Change Research poll, which again is NOT of the convention delegates, but of “605 regular VA GOP primary voters.” So the same caveat as with the PPP poll applies, since Republicans are not holding a primary and the “universe” of voters will likely be quite different. With that said, the Change Research poll found the following: Chase 29%-Youngkin 25%-Snyder 13%-Cox 7%. Of course, note that the VA GOP convention is using Ranked Choice Voting, which means that to win, a candidate has to get 50%+1 (e.g., you can’t win with just a plurality), so second-place, third-place, etc. votes will matter a great deal.
- Also noteworthy from the Change Research poll is that “Republicans are wary of this convention process,” with 41% believing “the convention will be rigged in favor of the candidates supported by the party establishment” vs. just “34% who believe the convention will run smoothly and the winner will reflect the person who has the broadest support of Republican voters statewide.”
- This concern/paranoia is particularly the case among Chase supporters – “61% of Amanda Chase’s voters believe the convention will be rigged while only 23% of her voters believe the winner will reflect the will of Republican voters statewide. Youngkin and Snyder supporters are more confident in the convention process.”
- Also, you’ve gotta love this…if you’re a Virginia Dem, that is: “69% of Amanda Chase’s supporters say she should run as an Independent in the general election if there are legitimate questions about the way the convention is run and how the votes are counted. Only 20% oppose this.’
- And finally: “Overall, Amanda Chase is the most popular candidate in the GOP race for Governor.” Chase favorable/unfavorable numbers are at 51%-14%; Youngkin’s at 46%-17%; Snyder’s at 32%-13%; and Cox is at 23%-13% (which is pathetic, really). And Trump – who last we saw was leading a coup attempt against our democracy – is at 88% favorable, including 74% “strongly favorable,” which really tells us where the VA GOP’s collective head is at right now. Scary.
P.S. For what it’s worth, PredictIt currently pegs the race at Youngkin (51 cents) – Snyder (35 cents) – Cox (10 cents) – Chase (8 cents)…