Final PPP Poll: McAuliffe Up by 7; Northam by 13; Herring by 2

Monday, November 4, 2013

The final PPP poll for Virginia this cycle went up last night. Here are the highlights.*For Governor, Terry McAuliffe leads 50%-43% over Ken Cuccinelli, with Robert Sarvis fading (as most third-party candidates do in the end) to just 4%.
*For Lt. Governor, Ralph Northam is beating EW Jackson by 13 points (52%-39%). I find it disturbing that there are 39% of Virginia likely voters who would be willing to vote for this extremist huckster. Should be more like 3.9%.
*In the AG's race, Mark Herring's up over Cuccinelli clone Mark Obenshain, but not by much, at 47%-45%. The problem here, in my view, is that a lot of voters STILL don't realize how extreme Obenshain is, in large part because Obenshain's run a campaign that has obfuscated his views/votes (e.g., supporting a bill that would have made miscarriage a crime reportable to the police within 24 hours; supporting "personhood" legislation that would outlaw abortion and many forms of contraception; being anti-environment and  anti-background-checks; etc.) and even outright lied about them. All voters need to do to confirm these facts is about 15 minutes of using Google. But will they? If they do, then Obenshain should by all rights lose tomorrow by as large a margin as E.W. Jackson.
*Neither Cuccinelli nor McAuliffe are popular, to put it mildly, with both seriously "underwater" in their favorability ratings. But, as PPP explains: "among voters who dislike both candidates- and they account for 15% of the electorate- McAuliffe leads Cuccinelli 61/16. Those voters who don't like either major party standard bearer are responsible for McAuliffe's entire lead in this poll."
*If Bill Bolling had run as an independent, it actually would have cut into Terry's margin, with the final results being McAuliffe 34%-Cuccinelli 32%-Bolling 22%. Of course, if Bolling had actually run a campaign, voters would have found out that he's just as conservative in most ways as Cuccinelli, so that probably would have changed.
*I'd say this sample is a bit too Democratic leaning (50% say they voted for Obama last year; 45% for Romney), but I guess we'll find out tomorrow. It's also probably a bit too female-leaning, with a 56%-44% female/male breakout in the electorate. I'd say it will be closer to 52% female, but again we'll see.
*There's a "gender gap" in this poll, but not as large as in a number of others, with women favoring McAuliffe by 11 points (51%-40%) and men supporting him by 1 point (47%-46%). In the Washington Post poll, Cuccinelli trailed by 24 points (!) among women, while leading by 1 points among men.
P.S. I don't take Zogby seriously, and certainly not when it's paired with the crazy "Newsmax," but just for completeness purposes, they've got Terry up 12 points and "Headed for Big Win" tomorrow. Question: which "poll" is more ridiculous - Zogby, Roanoke College, or Emerson College?