Friday, July 31, 2009

State of the Race: Virginia Governor (7/31/09)

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And now the race in the Old Dominion.

Survey USA weighed in on the race for the first time since about a week before the June 9 Democratic primary that handed Creigh Deeds the gubernatorial nomination. While the results were solid for the Democrat (against Republican Bob McDonnell) in that poll, they are not in this recent poll. Like New Jersey, this is another poll this week that shows both Republicans in better positions than both their Democratic counterparts. Let's look at the toplines and then I'll comment:

Bob McDonnell: 55%
Creigh Deeds: 40%
Undecided: 5%

Margin of error: +/- 4.3 points
Sample: 526 likely voters
Conducted: July 27-28, 2009

For starters, there's no doubt that McDonnell has a lead in this race, but this result is well outside of the margins we've seen in any other poll (other than the Daily Kos poll around the same time as the first Survey USA poll) in the time since Deeds got the Washington Post's endorsement in the Democratic primary race in May (when Deeds became viable as a general election candidate). This is definitely a Republican-laden sample. I don't know that the 38/32 Republican to Democratic split in the sample is all that uncharacteristic of Virginia. It is probable that such a sample could be drawn there, but it still feels a bit out of the ordinary. My point is driven home by the "who'd you vote for -- McCain or Obama" question. The split there was 52/43 in favor of McCain -- in a state Obama won 53-46 last November.

You may also notice that McDonnell has jumped out to a fairly sizable lead in FHQ's weighted average of the race. Meanwhile, Chris Christie has maintained about a ten point advantage over Jon Corzine in the New Jersey race despite the fact that Christie has been above that margin in quite a number of polls recently. The difference between races is the number of polls conducted. There have been far more polls in New Jersey than in Virginia and that translates into more volatility in the Virginia numbers. The Virginia race, then, is more vulnerable to outliers like the one this Survey USA poll represents.

Regardless, in these two races, the polls this week have had a Republican flavor with both candidates stretching their leads over their Democratic competitors.

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Recent Posts:
State of the Race: New Jersey (7/31/09)

Last Athens Post

FOX Poll: 2012 GOP Primary--The Romney/Huckabee Dead Heat Continues


Jack said...

Aren't likely voters in off-year gubernatorial elections generally more Republican than likely voters in presidential elections?

For that matter, do pollsters determine likely voters in such elections the same way, or would they consider someone that's voted in all presidential elections but no others a likely voter only in presidential years?

AKReport said...

Breaking: Huckabee lossing the money race.

only 300,000 in the first 6 months

Robert said...

I am now willing to concede that Deeds is in real trouble.