Bruce Shuttleworth's Final Poll Results of the 8th CD Democratic Primary Race (5/1-5/5)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

After Bruce Shuttleworth dropped out of the 8th CD Democratic race two weeks ago, I asked him if he'd be willing to share the extensive (not to mention expensive!) polling which had informed his decision to do so. Today, we met for lunch, and Bruce shared some of the key results with me.The polling was carried out in early May (5/1-5/5) by EMC Research, and as Bruce put it, "provides an interesting snapshot in time"/"good lay of the land" regarding where the 8th CD Democratic race stood as of that time. In addition, the poll results help explain Bruce's decision to withdraw from the race. Specifically, Bruce didn't see a path to victory without "going negative," which is not at all what he wanted to do. The poll results help explain why that's the case, as you'll see in the following data.
Finally, Bruce wanted to emphasize that he wishes everyone still in the the race the best of luck, stressing that he will be very supportive of whoever the nominee turns out to be on June 10 -- "may the best candidate win." He hopes and plans to stay involved in public discourse on the issues he cares about - the environment, national security, health care, etc. - going forward.
With that, here are the key results from Bruce Shuttleworth's poll, which surveyed 400 likely Democratic voters in the 8th CD, and was conducted using extensive, live interviews. The overall poll has a margin of sampling error of +/- 4.9%.
*How closely are likely voters following race?: 13% "not at all;" 35% "not too closely,"36% "somewhat closely;" 15% "very closely."
*Vote percentage "top lines" (without reading any bios or other comments about the candidates): Undecided 31%; Beyer 30%; Hope and Ebbin 9% each; Euille 8%; Chatman, Herring, Shuttleworth and Levine 3% each; Hyra 0%.
*Name ID (prior to providing any information about the candidates): Beyer 71%; Euille 48%; Levine 46%; Chatman 43%; Ebbin, Hope and Shuttleworth 42% each; Herring 41%; Hyra and Korpe 16% each.
*Favorable ratings (prior to providing any information): Beyer 49% (with 7% unfavorable); Euille 29% (6% unfavorable); Ebbin 27% (note: I didn't get Ebbin's, Hope's or Herring's "unfavorable" scores, but I got the impression that they were in the same range as the others -- 6%, 7% or so); Hope 23%; Herring 21%; Chatman 18% (with 7% unfavorable); Levine and Shuttleworth 12% each (with 5% unfavorable for Levine and 4% unfavorable for Shuttleworth).
*Vote percentages after positive messages read for Shuttleworth: Beyer 30%, Shuttleworth 15%, Hope 10%, Euille 9%.
*Vote percentages after positive messages read for Shuttleworth and negative messages read for Beyer: Undecided 26%, Beyer 24%, Shuttleworth 17%, Hope 10%, Euille 10%, Ebbin 7%, Chatman 3%.
So, the bottom line, as these numbers show, is that Bruce Shuttleworth didn't see a "path to victory" simply by staying "positive," and probably not even by going "negative." In the "best case scenario" for him, he still trailed Don Beyer by 7 points, 24%-17%, after using both "positive" (for him) and "negative" (against Beyer) messaging. Given that, I'd have to agree with Bruce that he made a smart move to withdraw from the race when he did. Whatever you think about Bruce Shuttleworth, this Naval Academy and Harvard Business School grad is no dummy, that's for sure.
Finally, Bruce added that if Don Beyer does end up winning - and this poll certainly shows him to be the strong favorite as of early May - that he won't be the "quintessential freshman congressman." Instead, Shuttleworth said that given Beyer's experience, connections, etc., he could be "quite effective from day #1." Interesting.

Video: Progressive Democrats of America Debate for Virginia 8th CD Gets Fiery!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The debate last night put on by the Progressive Democrats of America turned out a lot better than I'd expected heading in, given that only 2 candidates (Mark Levine and Derek Hyra) were going to be there for the entire debate, 1 candidate (Patrick Hope) was going to be there for part of it, and the rest (other than Don Beyer) slated to send "surrogates." It turns out that the surrogates did very well - I'd argue that at Ebbin's (Justin Strekal) and Hope's (Karen Gautney) were absolutely superb, in some ways better than the candidates themselves (can I vote for Strekal or Gautney in this election? LOL) - while Euille's and Chatman's were very strong in more limited roles (e.g., they weren't authorized to respond to questions, other than ones they were 100% sure about). The debate was well organized, the questions were interesting, and there were some serious fireworks between the candidates - including Mark Levine repeatedly going after Don Beyer, who wasn't there (note that I've emailed the Beyer campaign to ask why they didn't send a surrogate to the debate, which is disappointing), as well as Patrick Hope and Don Beyer as "lobbyists" (for doctors and car dealers, respectively); and the other candidates who didn't show up. For his part, Hope went after Levine as a "passive aggressive progressive" (in response to Levine calling him a "lobbyist," which Hope said he was proud of), as well as for attacking Beyer when he wasn't there. Definitely a lively debate! Here's some video (I'll post more in the comments section of this post), starting with Mark Levine criticizing Don Beyer for "support[ing] fast track...for the Bush Administration; he felt that the Bush Administration could be completely trusted to do trade deals and he said so very clearly...when he was the lobbyist for foreign car dealers." P.S. Also note that I didn't get video of some of the exchanges at the end, as my video camera ran out of juice after 1 1/2 hours or so. On ethanol, Levine correctly called it a "sham" which could actually use more energy to produce than it produces. Ebbin's surrogate correctly called it a "big handout" to agribusiness and "money not well spent." For whatever reason, Hope and Hyra didn't answer directly about ethanol, just talked about promoting renewable energy (note: I checked with the Hope campaign this morning, and they said the ethanol subsidy should be phased out and moved into investments in renewables - good answer!). On another topic, guns, Levine was very passionate that Democrats need to run on this issue and call out Republicans for it, as the vast majority of Americans support background checks. All the candidates/surrogates who responded about the PATRIOt Act and mass surveillance felt it went too far and should be drastically scaled back or ended. P.P.S. I'm not sure if any other reporters were there, but if so I didn't see them.

Straw Poll at 7th CD GOP Convention Shows Cantor Losing Badly to Dave Brat

Monday, May 12, 2014

I'm not sure how much validity to give this straw poll of 7th CD Republican convention delegates by The Bull Elephant, but the conclusion is intriguing: "a large and unexpected lead by Dave Brat over Eric Cantor, and Shak Hill as a continuing but distant threat to frontrunner Ed Gillespie." One more conclusion that should give the Can'tor folks significant heartburn: his "opposition isn't just among fire-breathing Tea Party-types, but also among a significant portion of the GOP base in the 7th who prefer the "mainstream" candidate for Senate." Thoughts? Time for yet more popcorn? :)P.S. Click here for my original story about the stunning defeat this weekend of Eric Cantor's close ally as 7th CD GOP Chair.

"Huge loss for Eric Cantor...his top lieutenant Linwood Cobb is toppled"

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Ruh roh, looks like Eric Can'tor has a little problem in his district. Such a sad, sad, sad shame. ;) For more, see The Bull Elephant blog, which had reported a bit earlier this afternoon:
Eric Cantor and Dave Brat speaking. Cantor getting booed, criticizing how it's easy to throw stones from ivory towers...he's really, really hitting back at Brat. I've never seen Cantor this forceful. Angry even.IMHO, he shouldn't get in the mud...makes him look smaller. But kudos to him for engaging in the back and forth. Folks in the crowd yelling out at him. Big boos when he tries to call Brat a liberal.
This speech is going to make the papers.
More popcorn, please! :) In all seriousness, though, it looks like the GOP "establishment" hasn't gotten the Tea Party completely under control yet, as they've been pounding their chests about for months now. Such a shame, huh?UPDATE: Check it out from Republican blogger Lynn R. Mitchell (she's referring to Tea Partiers who "came in by the busload Saturday morning to vote at the 7th Congressional District Convention in Richmond"):

Exclusive BV Poll of the 8th CD Democratic Primary. Part 4: Patrick Hope's HoD District

Friday, May 2, 2014

I posted the first installment of our exclusive 8th CD Democratic primary poll a bit earlier today. See here for more details on the poll in general (e.g., it was telephone/automated, with calls conducted by Voice Broadcasting), as well as on results for Charniele Herring's House of Delegates district specifically. Also see herefor details on Alexandria, and here for details on Adam Ebbin's State Senate district.Now, we turn to Patrick Hope's House of Delegates District (the 47th), which covers mostly North Arlington and perhaps will constitute around 20% of the Democratic primary electorate on June 10th. Hope has represented this district since 2010. See the graph and comments for my thoughts. Also note that there were 218 respondents specifically in the 47th House of Delegates District (out of 1,152 total responses). The margin of sampling error on this section of the poll is +/- 6.1 percentage points.
*It's basically a two-way race in this district, with Hope (43.6%) and Beyer (20.6%) combining with "undecided" for over 90% of the vote here, and with Hope leading Beyer by a whopping 23 points! Everyone else combined add up to under 10% of the vote in this district.
*This is exactly what Patrick Hope needs to be doing in his own House of Delegates district (and what Bill Euille, Charniele Herring and Adam Ebbin aren't doing on their home turfs) -- racking up a big margin, over 40% of the vote in a 10-candidate field, 23 points ahead of Don Beyer and 40 points ahead of Adam Ebbin. That's without having done any serious paid communications yet, to my knowledge, while we've been inundated with mailers from several other candidates.
*Something very interesting jumps out at me from all of this. You'd think that where voters know their Delegate, Senator, Mayor, whatever, you'd expect the voters to like and support that elected official. Yet in Ebbin's and Herring's districts, as well as in Mayor Euille's Alexandria, the elected officials trail badly to Don Beyer. In stark contrast, in Patrick Hope's district, Hope leads by a wide margin.
*Apparently, as Hope told me in 2009 (I didn't believe him at the time), when voters get to know him, they come to like him. The question for the next 40 days is whether voters outside Hope's district will get to know him, like him, and consider voting for him. Right now, most of them don't really know who Hope is. Of course, it's quite possible that most voters haven't focused on this race yet, but will do so in the next few weeks. Stay tuned!
*So, while this isn't a bad result for Don Beyer, but I'm thinking it increasingly is what they're most worried about over at Beyer HQ - the potential for Patrick Hope to win big in North Arlington, pick up support in Mt. Vernon and other parts of Fairfax County, and generally emerge as Beyer's most serious rival. That's pretty much what I talked about in my scenarios post.