Friday, May 22, 2009

New numbers in the Virginia Governor's race

The National Journal wrote an article about the current status of each of the contenders for governor. Daily Kos/Research 2000 reported yesterday that Bob McDonnell, the presumptive GOP nominee, is viewed as either favorably or very favorably by about 53% of Virginians. Those numbers are comparable to Barack Obama's numbers late in his campaign, the article points out.
The article goes on to mention that each of the Democratic candidates is viewed significantly less favorably. Terry McAuliffe is seen favorably or very favorably by a combined 37%, and Brian Moran and Creigh Deeds are both at 35%. The poll goes on to say that, in head-to-head general election matchups, McDonnell would beat Moran 42% to 35%, McAuliffe 44% to 34%, and Deeds 45% to 32%.

I think this poll says more about the Democrats in the race than it does McDonnell. As the article points out, McAuliffe has low favorables and high unfavorables despite such high profile endorsements as former President Bill Clinton and hip-hop star Deeds has been airing television ads for a while now, while I can't even remember seeing an ad by Moran. And yet, Moran enjoys comparable favorability ratings with the others, despite his lower visibility, and according to the poll stands the best chance against McDonnell in the general election. Also, the primaries are usually packed with the devout and the politicos, which for the most part have supported Moran above the other Democrats.

Obviously, this poll is by no means definitive or final. During the presidential election last year, I just shook my head at the daily, almost hourly, polling reports. The Democrats haven't even chosen a nominee yet, and as I've said before, you can expect an "all-star" turnout once they finally do. Virginia is a crucial indicator, I feel, of the direction the country wants to go. No one in the DNC, least of all its chairman Governor Kaine, will forget about the Commonwealth this year. We'll see which way the numbers go once the general election campaigns officially start.

There are still a few weeks to go to the Democratic primary, but I predict Moran for Democratic candidate; and McDonnell for Governor.

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