PPP: Hurt Leads 5th CD GOP Race With 22%

Friday, February 12, 2010

Public Policy Polling is out with the Republican-only results of the 5th Congressional District race. The key findings?

*State Sen. Robert Hurt leads the pack with 22% of the vote, followed by Ken Boyd with 12% and everyone else far behind.

*Actually, the real leader of the poll is "undecided," with 51%. In other words, even though Hurt leads with 22%, this race is wide open.

*Hurt leads Boyd among both conservatives (20%-13%) and moderates (28%-11%).

*According to PPP, "Hurt and Boyd have greater name recognition than the other candidates as the ones who have prior experience in elected office but once the money starts flowing on paid media things could look pretty different."

*PPP adds, "The 51% undecided is just more confirmation that this nomination is probably Virgil Goode's for the taking if he changes his mind and decides he wants to run as a Republican this year."

My guess is that this poll is almost all about name recognition. The fact is, Robert Hurt represents about one-fifth of the 5th CD. Not surprisingly, Hurt also receives about one-fifth of support in this poll. Boyd, who receives 12% support in this poll, is on the Board of Supervisors in Albemarle County, which has about 15% of the 640,000 people in the 5th CD. Very similar numbers once again. If support reflects name ID, then the key for these candidates obviously will be increasing theirs, and that of course will take money. Along those lines, the FEC database shows James McKelvey with $484,123 cash on hand as of 12/31/09, Laurence Verga with $217,836, and Robert Hurt with $258,976. And, of course, Virgil Goode lurks in the wings with $119,378 cash on hand. This could get very interesting...stay tuned!