A pair of new polls released this morning on the state of the Virginia gubernatorial race had rather less uplifting news for the Cuccinelli camp than some of the numbers from last week, with McAuliffe again opening up some statistically significant gaps. Via the WSJ:
The former head of the Democratic National Committee has a 5-point lead (43% to 38%) over the Republican candidate among likely voters in the NBC4/NBC News/Marist poll and an 8-point lead (47% to 39%) in the Washington Post/Abt-SRBI poll.
The numbers have shifted since May, when NBC’s poll showed Mr. Cuccinelli leading 45% to 42% among likely voters and a Washington Post poll showed the Republican with a 46% to 41% edge over Mr. McAuliffe among all Virginia voters and a 51% to 41% lead among voters who said they’re certain to cast ballots in November.
Female voters helped fuel Mr. McAuliffe’s lead in the latest polls. They prefer Mr. McAuliffe by 18 points in the NBC poll, and by 24 points in the Washington Post poll.
Ah, the gender gap. Well ladies, here is something that — “as a woman” as well as a Virginia voter — concerns me quite a bit about Mr. McAulife’s proposed platform.
Over the past few years, Virginia has successfully relaxed some of its gun-control laws, and firearms ownership has been surging while gun-related crimes have been on the decline (funny how that works out, isn’t it?). The violent “wild wild West” drama about which state Democrats darkly warned when Virginia repealed its obsolete one-handgun-purchase/month rule has miraculously failed to materialize — indeed, quite the opposite.
The McAuliffe camp has so far been pretty careful not to draw too much attention to his Second-Amendment stance and the candidate pays the appropriate lip service to being a gun owner himself, but McAuliffe is definitely a gun-control guy at heart. He’s totally cool with background checks on private sales and limiting magazine capacities, i.e. the same measures that just earned a pair of state senators in another purple state out west the boot. From an easily overlooked section of his campaign website:
Support common sense gun control measures
As Governor, Terry will support mainstream and majority supported gun control measures like universal background checks, limiting the size of magazines, and a return to the 1-gun-per-month rule. These measures respect Virginians’ right to bear arms while reducing gun violence.
Charles C.W. Cooke over at NRO caught this first, and as he explains, the reintroduction of the one-gun-per-month rule would be a nonsensical step backwards:
For a start, the measure came into effect before the beloved NICS background check system was rolled out. As such, it should be obvious that if a) background checks are effective in ensuring that only responsible gun owners get hold of weapons, as the Left insist they are, and b) progressives truly do not want to limit ownership of firearms but only to make sure that criminals are denied the opportunity to purchase them, as they claim in public, then it really shouldn’t matter how many times a month a citizen passes a background check.
What’s more, Virginia firearms dealers must report anyone who buys more than one handgun in five days to both the federal ATF and the Virginia police, and by the time this law was repealed last year, there were already a bunch of exemptions on it for law enforcement officers, concealed-carry permit holders, and etcetera. The idea of trying to get the law back on the books is kind of a non sequitur — and a dangerous one at that.