Poll: McAuliffe still gaining ground in Virginia

posted at 4:41 pm on September 17, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Via Conservative Intel, it’s yet another polling blow for the Cuccinelli camp in the decidedly negative and now Democratic-leaning Virginia gubernatorial race. Interestingly, a few of the previous polls on the contest haven’t actually bothered to include the Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis but he does seem to having some effect on the race:

To: Conservative Intel
From: Brock McCleary, Harper Polling
Date: September 17, 2013
Re: Virginia Governor Poll

Our survey shows Democrat Terry McAuliffe leading Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli 42%-37% in a race that is being heavily affected by Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis, who is polling at 10%

As a Libertarian, the assumption that Sarvis is siphoning votes from Republican Cuccinelli is only partly true. Sarvis’ support on the ballot comes from 4% of Democrats, 7% of Republicans and 18% of independent or third party voters, some of whom are undoubtedly Libertarians. …

Sarvis’ supporters hold largely negative opinions about the two other candidates: 19% have a favorable opinion of Cuccinelli and 12% have a favorable opinion of McAuliffe; 64% have an unfavorable opinion of Cuccinelli and 71% have an unfavorable opinion of McAuliffe. A slight edge goes to Cuccinelli in the fight for Sarvis’ supporters.

As the pollsters note, however, third-party candidates often do better in polls than they do at the actual ballot box, which means that the migration-or-abstention of Sarvis’s 10 percent of voters combined with the still undecided 11 percent of voters could still change up this race — but that will be quite the challenge, considering that very few voters have strongly favorable opinions about either the Democrat or the Republican.

Earlier in the year, this race was looking very much in the winnable category for Cuccinelli, but particularly Gov. Bob McDonnell’s gifts scandal and McAuliffe’s many years of well-developed fundraising abilities are overpowering the Cuccinelli camp’s efforts — and the criticisms of Cuccinelli as an uncompromising and hard-line social conservative to which all of that cash is going unfortunately seem to be finding their marks.

The Republican Governors Association has spent $3.45 million on TV through roughly the end of last week, according to a media tracking source. They provided another $3 million directly to the Cuccinelli campaign, which has in turn spent $3.5 million on TV ads. The conservative Citizens United dropped $284,000 attacking McAuliffe.

On the other side, McAuliffe has spent $6.3 million on TV and the state Democratic Party has spent another $2.9 million. NextGen Climate Action, the political activism arm of billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, has spent $714,000 and the National Education Association has spent more than a quarter-million dollars. The Democratic Governors Association has directly transferred $3.2 million to the McAuliffe campaign, and has spent additional money on polling and research.

Through the end of June, Cuccinelli raised $7.7 million for the race and McAuliffe raised $12.7 million.

In perhaps a weirdly useful turn of events for Cuccinelli, however, the Obama administration is slated to roll out their big coal-restricting regulations by the end of the week, and they are going to make it practically impossible and not cost-effective for energy companies to build new coal plants. The national news could helpl turn the issue into an even bigger bludgeon with which Cuccinelli could hammer McAuliffe’s say-anything, flip-flopping attitude toward business and energy. The new regs are going to have to force some type of response out of him, and the administration’s anti-coal agenda does not play at all well in some major areas of Virginia:

The two candidates, Republican state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe, are prototypes: A Republican lobbing coal attacks and a Democrat alleging climate denialism in his opponent.

Fueling the dispute, the state chapter of the League of Conservation Voters has donated $900,000 directly to McAuliffe’s campaign, the group and the campaign confirmed to ABC News, making it the largest donation to McAuliffe’s campaign not to come from the Democratic Governors Association.

Cuccinelli and Republicans have been hammering McAuliffe for allegedly participating in a Democratic Party “war on coal,” a leftover meme from the 2012 presidential campaign that has been given new life in Virginia with the Environmental Protection Agency pending release of new emissions caps for coal and gas power plants Thursday.


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Virginia is gone as far as I’m concerned… Too many DC’rs living there…

sandee on September 17, 2013 at 4:43 PM

Not a Bozo, one of those creepy clowns…

Akzed on September 17, 2013 at 4:48 PM

They don’t get much more sleazy and corrupt than McAuliffe, so, yeah, Virginia is gone.

Rational Thought on September 17, 2013 at 4:48 PM

O.K., I can’t take this anymore…..

Can someone, ANYONE please explain to me the
QUALIFICATIONS OF McAULIFFE????????????????

Has this guy EVER held political office????? EVER????

Unf*cking believable

ToddPA on September 17, 2013 at 4:48 PM

We`re going to need a miracle to win in 2016 at this rate.

ThePrez on September 17, 2013 at 4:50 PM

McAuliffe Vows To Keep Sub-Standard Abortion Clinics Open If Elected

OmahaConservative on September 17, 2013 at 4:45 PM

dhimmicRATs, party of death.

davidk on September 17, 2013 at 4:51 PM

Virginia is gone as far as I’m concerned… Too many DC’rs living there…

sandee on September 17, 2013 at 4:43 PM

Indeed. And people from the Peoples Republic of Maryland. So many refugees that didn’t learn the first time not to poop in their own sandbox have come to do so again in the great Commonwealth of Virginia. Or at least is used to be great.

Cadian on September 17, 2013 at 4:56 PM

MacAulife, the choice of liberal Yankees who have overrun my home.

You hear a lot more nasally English around these days.

Pull tobacco or pick tobacco?

They say pick, we say pull.

As Johnny Cash would say “Southern Accents.”

Virginia is just too close to the DC behemoth to remain red.

And Obama and cohorts get virtually all black votes because he is black? and the other dems.

And that crap is how it crumbles.

Sherman1864 on September 17, 2013 at 4:58 PM

George Washington & Thomas Jefferson, the most famous Virginians spin in their graves.

portlandon on September 17, 2013 at 4:58 PM

What happens if the Libertarian gets the 10% and Cuccinelli looses by 9 or 10, who will be to blame?

KBird on September 17, 2013 at 5:01 PM

Just spitballin’ here, but….How about Cooch naming Sarvis as his lt. gov.? The libertarians are unlikely to get a position that high in gov. on their own , and would set him up for a run when Kooch is term limited. Meanwhile, Kooch could appeal to the full spectrum of the Republican party, make a case for upsetting the party-line backroom dealers, and hopefully run Mac outta town. Win,Win,Win.

SMACKRUNNER on September 17, 2013 at 5:04 PM

Lets give up!

rob verdi on September 17, 2013 at 5:08 PM

It’s hard to accept what is happening to my former home state. Ten or 12 years ago this would not be an issue as there wasn’t a whole lot of difference between a Democrat governor and a Republican one. But too much growth in the northern suburbs. Virginia is now a lot like New York. The rest of the state other than Richmond and Charlottesville is reliably conservative with The DC area being ultra liberal and welded to the feds teat. Analogous to the upstate/NYC dichotomy.
Lucky the governor can only stay in for one term and still has to balance the budget by law. I wouldn’t mind seeing an increase in the income tax on high earners though as that would hit the DC area particularly hard. These types need to reap what they sow and to feel the pain.

JohnnyL on September 17, 2013 at 5:10 PM

and the criticisms of Cuccinelli as an uncompromising and hard-line social conservative to which all of that cash is going unfortunately seem to be finding their marks.

So, yet another election that will come down to people voting for consequence free, unrestrained SEX over the morality held by the Founding Fathers.

Romans 1
, folks. It’s all in there, including the end result of doing such things.

pannw on September 17, 2013 at 5:13 PM

Just spitballin’ here, but….How about Cooch naming Sarvis as his lt. gov.? The libertarians are unlikely to get a position that high in gov. on their own , and would set him up for a run when Kooch is term limited. Meanwhile, Kooch could appeal to the full spectrum of the Republican party, make a case for upsetting the party-line backroom dealers, and hopefully run Mac outta town. Win,Win,Win.

SMACKRUNNER on September 17, 2013 at 5:04 PM

First off, the gubernatorial candidate doesn’t get to pick his running mate. That’s left up to the party convention – one of the many ways conservative activists decided to redden the Virginia GOP. That has produced E.W. Jackson, a principled man and strong black conservative who is nonetheless a firebreather who turns off social moderates.

Second, the Libertarian Party has far more to gain from spoiling the election (if they are indeed spoiling it; Cuccinelli has shot himself in the foot plenty already and McAuliffe’s burying him in the money race) than from taking the LG spot. Bill Bolling can tell you just how much pull the LG spot has in VA these days.

KingGold on September 17, 2013 at 5:15 PM

Hubs and I can’t get out of this cesspool fast enough. NoVA used to be a great place, but the D.C. and Maryland leeches have destroyed it.

I hate to wish my life away, but Summer 2014, hustle up so we can get outta here!

hollygolightly on September 17, 2013 at 5:17 PM

If all those drones in Northern Virginia want their own White Obama, who am I to deny them their folly.

Another Drew on September 17, 2013 at 5:18 PM

Even though we’re slowly losing VA to the Dems, Bolling still probably would have won this. If you lose to McAuliffe in a state that’s not solid blue, you should be banned from ever running for office.

GOPRanknFile on September 17, 2013 at 5:25 PM

McDonnell out performed his average polling by over 4 points in 2009. And if some of that Libertarian vote thinks their votes might not matter, things can change for the better. Off year elections in Virginia are not purple elections, they are red. If only the Republican establishment had not stabbed Cooch in the back.

KMav on September 17, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Romans 1, folks. It’s all in there, including the end result of doing such things.

pannw on September 17, 2013 at 5:13 PM

You got that right!

SailorMark on September 17, 2013 at 5:31 PM

I have a sister in Springfield that I am sure will pull for the dem as many times as possible. She is one of the biggest loser libs I know. Has survivor’s benefits through the army (widow) and thinks Rachel Maddow is the smartest person ever.

DanMan on September 17, 2013 at 5:40 PM

42%.
No reason to panic.
Cuccinelli will still be a statesman, win or lose.
It would be disappointing if such a douche like McAuliffe wins, though.
How far VA would have fallen if that comes to pass.

22044 on September 17, 2013 at 5:44 PM

If McAuliffe is elected, Virginia is officially over as far as Republicans winning the state. Yes, they’ve elected democrats in the past, but McAuliffe is about as low on the scale as you can get for a democrat. That they would even consider voting for him shows the state is probably too far gone. It’s likely we won’t see a Republican presidential candidate carry the state for a loooong time.

xblade on September 17, 2013 at 5:44 PM

OmahaConservative on September 17, 2013 at 4:58 PM

Is this a demotion for Sean?

IR-MN on September 17, 2013 at 5:46 PM

Cuccinelli’s problem is simple: he let his opponent and the media define him before he did.

I have no idea if the guy is a hard-line social conservative, but I don’t see him fighting it.

beatcanvas on September 17, 2013 at 5:49 PM

Akin 2 is losing? I’m shocked.

EddieC on September 17, 2013 at 5:53 PM

If McAuliffe is elected, Virginia is officially over as far as Republicans winning the state. Yes, they’ve elected democrats in the past, but McAuliffe is about as low on the scale as you can get for a democrat. That they would even consider voting for him shows the state is probably too far gone. It’s likely we won’t see a Republican presidential candidate carry the state for a loooong time.

xblade on September 17, 2013 at 5:44 PM

It’s true that VA is trending more and more blue, but Bolling would most likely have beaten this loser, McAuliffe. I’m still holding out hope, but I knew as soon as Cuccinelli became the nominee, it didn’t matter who the Dems nominated, he would probably lose. Cuccinelli is smart, accomplished, and articulate, but he’s way too “right wing” for the state of VA.

GOPRanknFile on September 17, 2013 at 5:54 PM

Virginia is gone as far as I’m concerned… Too many DC’rs living there…

sandee on September 17, 2013 at 4:43 PM

If this is true then the realistic path to 270 electoral votes in 2016 is going to be exceedingly narrow.

alchemist19 on September 17, 2013 at 5:59 PM

Cuccinelli’s problem is simple: he let his opponent and the media define him before he did.

I have no idea if the guy is a hard-line social conservative, but I don’t see him fighting it.

beatcanvas on September 17, 2013 at 5:49 PM

He supported changing the state’s official seal because it contained an image of a woman’s bare breast. One invites ridicule when one does ridiculous things.

alchemist19 on September 17, 2013 at 6:01 PM

Bolling

GOPRanknFile on September 17, 2013 at 5:54 PM

Bolling is one of the reason’s Cuccinelli is losing. Bolling will not even support the Republican candidate. Screw Bolling.

KMav on September 17, 2013 at 6:05 PM

KMav on September 17, 2013 at 6:05 PM

Cuccinelli is the reason Cuccinelli is losing. Let’s not forget that he’s facing freakin’ Terry McAuliffe. With a decent candidate, it really wouldn’t have even matter if Bolling formally endorsed McAuliffe for goodness sake…the Republican candidate would still have won. I’m all for nominating a Cuccinelli in Alabama or Idaho or any other red state, but not in VA. With that said, there’s still a slim chance Cuccinelli can win because the Dems nominated the worst possible candidate themselves.

GOPRanknFile on September 17, 2013 at 6:10 PM

Cuccinelli’s problem is simple: he let his opponent and the media define him before he did.

I have no idea if the guy is a hard-line social conservative, but I don’t see him fighting it.

beatcanvas on September 17, 2013 at 5:49 PM

Yup, he’s a weak candidate. He’s basically Jerry Kilgore — just a smarter, more aggressive version of Jerry Kilgore. No one likes Jerry Kilgore.

Bob McDonnell ran an excellent campaign and had presence throughout the state four years ago. Cooch is running a clown show and Terry is coming off as Least Worst Candidate in the minds of too many voters.

With that said, Bill Bolling, along with Pete Snyder as Lt. Gov., would have won this. Bolling fits the profile for a Virginia politician.

Punchenko on September 17, 2013 at 6:29 PM

How pathetic is the gop in Virginia?

What the heck is wrong with the Mark Levin praised Ken Cucinelli campaign???

PappyD61 on September 17, 2013 at 6:43 PM

GOPRanknFile on September 17, 2013 at 6:10 PM
Punchenko on September 17, 2013 at 6:29 PM

Since you’re both pushing Bolling, let me pour a little cold water on that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_elections,_2009

Lt. Governor Race
Bolling (56.51% — 1,106,674 votes)
Wagner (43.40%)

Attorney General Race
Cuccinelli (57.51% — 1,124,018 votes)
Shannon (42.39%)

Note that in the last election, Cuccinelli’s margin of victory on a percentage basis, as well as overall votes received, was superior to Bolling.

You can argue that Cuccinelli is a poor candidate (I wouldn’t argue otherwise given how flat his campaign has been), but I don’t see why you think Bolling would do any better.

Stoic Patriot on September 17, 2013 at 6:44 PM

TEATERGINIA???

Is it that bad there?

PappyD61 on September 17, 2013 at 6:46 PM

Stoic Patriot on September 17, 2013 at 6:44 PM

Bolling ran against Jody Wagner, a woman. Cuccinelli ran against Steve Shannon, a man. Sad to say, but that probably accounts for the difference. I bet the splits will show just that.

GOPRanknFile on September 17, 2013 at 6:51 PM

Virginia is gone as far as I’m concerned… Too many DC’rs living there…

sandee on September 17, 2013 at 4:43 PM

Federal tax-and-spend economics floods Virginia with lowlife lobbyists and the liberal vermin who flock to the D.C. area whenever Democrats and their whores are ascendant. I don’t see how a social conservative can win there with 500,000 of these cheese-dicks in Arlington.

Jaibones on September 17, 2013 at 6:54 PM

Ugh. Cooch’s campaign has been non-existent (I still haven’t seen an ad of his), but the bigger issue is the split in the GOP that’s being spearheaded by that sore loser turncoat, Bolling.

It’s hard to believe this state is about to elect that douche McAuliffe.

changer1701 on September 17, 2013 at 7:01 PM

The new regs are going to have to force some type of response out of him, and the administration’s anti-coal agenda does not play at all well in some major areas of Virginia:

However, in some other very heavily ‘populated’ areas of Virginia, many voters are federal employees extremely dependent on government largesse, and they will vote their pocketbooks…for the statist McAuliffe, don’t you think?

marybel on September 17, 2013 at 7:15 PM

The GOP in Virginia is strange group and are always doing strange things which is why a fair amount Democrats have won the state over the years. Also I do think it is important to stay from some social issues questions, at least for now. Basically you need a Republican that:

(1) Conservative on fiscal issues
(2) …but loves the Military spending
(3) …but is a libertarian on social issues

It is not an easy pull, but can be done.

To win that state you are going to have to break up the Northern Virginia folks, in other words the military and military contractors from the rest of the government employees and refugees from Maryland.

You have to divide and conquer, something that GOP is going to have to learn on a national level. The only thing I give Christie credit for is he does know how to divided and conquer. He has turned the old trade unions and other unions that work for private employers against the public unions like the Teachers Union. He has turned black ministers against the teachers unions. He has got one group of democrats hacking at other democrats. Sadly he is too RINO like for me, but conservatives and libertarians should take note.

To win Presidential elections we are going to have to make some compromises, not total whole sale become just like progressive compromises, but selected compromises with the goal of opening divides in the Democratic coalition which are there.

For instance

(1) School Choice and the failure of Public Education on minorities

(2) Gun rights for women and minorities. The people who most need guns are the physically weak and numerically small, not the rich and elite. Democrats are trying to deprive women and blacks from owning guns and thus depriving them of self defense from the man.

(3) Abortions are a tool to reduce population numbers of minorities and thus political power thus keeping white liberal democrats in charge.

(4) African-American and white liberals are preventing hispanics from political power. For instance in Compton the majority of the population is Hispanic, but all the political power is in the hands of blacks due to rigged elections, etc. Say the GOP will make sure voting rights of Hispanics will be protected in California for all Americans, and slap the black leadership of Compton for violating the civil rights of Hispanics. Basically there are other ways to win Hispanic voters than Amnesty.

There are many more…the point in the GOP needs to stop playing defense and start attacking Democrats in ways they are not used to being attacked. Is it low…yes…but that is American politics. If you want to win you need to fight in the gutter.

William Eaton on September 17, 2013 at 7:32 PM

According to my sister, McAuliffe is running a campaign on strictly social issues and basically has Cuccinelli in everyone’s lives. It is starting to look like I will never move back to my home state. Not that Florida won’t be equally stupid.

Cindy Munford on September 17, 2013 at 7:40 PM

If the idiot clown wins I hope he drives Virginia right into the ground. I hope the unemployment rate and taxes go through the roof. If people in that state are dumb enough to elect him they deserve it.

Jack_Burton on September 17, 2013 at 7:40 PM

He supported changing the state’s official seal because it contained an image of a woman’s bare breast. One invites ridicule when one does ridiculous things.

alchemist19 on September 17, 2013 at 6:01 PM

Eyeroll! Nope. When he took office, he had Seal of Virginia pins made for his staff with an up-armored, as in “ready to do battle,”* version of Virtus on them. It was meant as a rallying call to his troops, with a little geeky humor thrown in – just his style. Humorless leftarded libwits failed to ‘get it’ and accused him of the prudishness they ascribe to all social cons. End of story.

Moral: Read less Huffpo, more HotAir and Bearing Drift. You’re welcome.

*Which he has done, tirelessly and relentlessly, against Obamacare, the EPA, that slinking coward Mann, etc.

Mrs. Hill on September 17, 2013 at 7:45 PM

Eyeroll! Nope. When he took office, he had Seal of Virginia pins made for his staff with an up-armored, as in “ready to do battle,”* version of Virtus on them. It was meant as a rallying call to his troops, with a little geeky humor thrown in – just his style. Humorless leftarded libwits failed to ‘get it’ and accused him of the prudishness they ascribe to all social cons. End of story.

Moral: Read less Huffpo, more HotAir and Bearing Drift. You’re welcome.

*Which he has done, tirelessly and relentlessly, against Obamacare, the EPA, that slinking coward Mann, etc.

Mrs. Hill on September 17, 2013 at 7:45 PM

Thank you for busting that myth.

22044 on September 17, 2013 at 8:32 PM

The Northern Virginia Technology Council’s political arm on Monday formally announced its endorsement of Ken Cuccinelli II in the Virginia governor’s race despite an aggressive behind-the-scenes attempt by supporters of his Democratic opponent, Terry McAuliffe, to wrest the prize away.

Considering McAuliffe’s underwhelming performance in asking for NVTC’s support, it’s not hard to see why;

McAuliffe, meanwhile, failed to impress in his interview and even shocked some members, several board members said. When someone asked how he planned to work with people to get things done in Richmond, McAuliffe replied that he would wine and dine them.

“I’m an Irish Catholic. I like to drink. It is what is. We’ll go have lunch. We’ll go have drinks. We’ll work the phones. We’ll do whatever it takes to get things done,” he said, according to two NVTC officials present at the interview, including one who supports Cuccinelli and one who has not taken a position.

Some were astonished, although one of the officials said others interpreted it as McAuliffe’s way of trying to illustrate how he would work across partisan lines with anyone to cut a deal.

McAuliffe also had nice things to say about Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) during his interview, but he added that he thought McDonnell was more involved in the nitty-gritty of each piece of legislation that McAuliffe would be if he were elected.

“Terry said, ‘I am not going to read every bill when I’m governor. I’m going to hire people to read them for me.’ It was an astonishing statement,” a board member said, quoting McAuliffe from memory.

No sh!te, as the Irish side of my family would say.

McAuliffe sounds like a cross between John Kerry and Michael Bloomberg. Other terms for that are “accident going somewhere to happen” and/or “walking, talking disaster area”, take your pick.

If McAuliffe wins, the Old Dominion could become the butt of jokes the way New York is now under Napoleon Bloomyparte.

Like Groggy said in For A Few Dollars More,

Bad for him, not so bad for the rest of us.

cheers

eon

eon on September 17, 2013 at 8:56 PM

Mrs. Hill on September 17, 2013 at 7:45 PM

If you think that story was all a smearjob which only showed up in the Huffington Post then you need to broaden your horizons; everyone in the local media picked up on that story, and if someone has aspirations for higher office then they ought to be savvy enough not to do anything so easily beclowned. Politics ain’t beanbag, dumb stuff like that comes back even if you try to pass it off as a joke after the fact.

alchemist19 on September 17, 2013 at 9:14 PM

According to my sister, McAuliffe is running a campaign on strictly social issues and basically has Cuccinelli in everyone’s lives. It is starting to look like I will never move back to my home state. Not that Florida won’t be equally stupid.

Cindy Munford on September 17, 2013 at 7:40 PM

That’s exactly what he’s doing, because he knows it works.

changer1701 on September 17, 2013 at 9:23 PM

If the idiot clown wins I hope he drives Virginia right into the ground. I hope the unemployment rate and taxes go through the roof. If people in that state are dumb enough to elect him they deserve it.

Jack_Burton on September 17, 2013 at 7:40 PM

Being directly adjacent to Washington, DC, will ensure that such a fate will never ever ever happen. Look at Maryland.

Myron Falwell on September 17, 2013 at 10:34 PM

American voters suffer from associative retardation. Together, as a group…their collective brainpower functions at the level of a retarded person.

Jaibones on September 17, 2013 at 10:38 PM

You can argue that Cuccinelli is a poor candidate (I wouldn’t argue otherwise given how flat his campaign has been), but I don’t see why you think Bolling would do any better.

Stoic Patriot on September 17, 2013 at 6:44 PM

Bolling is rather low-key, had the establishment’s support, and has a more compelling story growing up rather poor in WV coal country.

Punchenko on September 17, 2013 at 10:38 PM

American voters suffer from associative retardation. Together, as a group…their collective brainpower functions at the level of a retarded person.

Jaibones on September 17, 2013 at 10:38 PM

I got the reference.

Myron Falwell on September 17, 2013 at 11:40 PM

I’m surprised some enterprising Cuccinelli supporters haven’t started planting “Jobs for China” signs next to the McAuliffe signs in the highway medians all over the place. It would be absolutely comical to see.

olesparkie on September 18, 2013 at 8:20 AM