Final PPP poll before the VA vote

The PPP model is expecting a turnout of 300K for Tuesday's primary in Virginia. There are others whom are modeling a turnout of 165-185K (here's one credible source). Now, those present radically different models to base an election on, here's what PPP has:

Deeds is now at 40%, followed by Terry McAuliffe at 26%, and Brian Moran at 24%. Since PPP's last poll Deeds has gained 13% while his opponents have each gone up by just 2%.
The story goes something like this: Moran has been in the range of the mid 20's throughout PPP's polling, with a slim lead over McAuliffe and Deeds way back; then McAuliffe goes up and Moran takes him on & cuts him down to size; Deeds has waited and then gets the WaPost endorsement to start moving up as McAuliffe falls; Moran upticks a bit.

Three-way races can be like that, but the big caveat here is that PPP is relying on a lot of Independents and Republicans voting in the Democratic primary, and that Deeds leads among voters in NoVA over Moran. That's certainly not what the Moran campaign is finding with its huge ongoing effort of phone-banking:

Yesterday, the Moran campaign received some of the best results of the campaign and saw a notable uptick in support while phone banking likely primary voters. The campaign made 36,478 calls to highly likely primary voters in Northern Virginia and saw Moran's consistent lead there surge after information about the records of his two opponents was made clear. In Hampton Roads, Moran's canvass calls reached 23,454 likely primary voters and found that Moran's support has increased significantly, moving the race into a virtual three-way tie.

In Richmond, Moran's canvass reached 22,399 likely voters and found that Moran is now within the margin of one of his opponents, while leading the other by several percentage points. And in Roanoke, where Moran just last week began his advertising campaign, his support has risen 150 percent among likely voters.

I really am not too excited about the conservative Democrat Creigh Deeds. Deeds has really come out of nowhere, and is a blank slate to most voters. He's not very environmental, being in favor of offshore oil drilling and new coal plants, and he's backwards on gay marriage. That said, he's better by far than Terry McAuliffe and way better than Bob McDonnell. As PPP shows, he captured the huge anti-McAuliffe vote here in the state in their polling, which he owes to Moran for creating. Without Moran beating the shit out of McAuliffe, there is no Deeds surge in the polls, but that's 3-way primaries. It's not issue-based at all, with the poll finding liberal NoVA Democratic voters backing the conservative-- just a surge of electability vs McAuliffe.

A 14-16% lead seems unbeatable, but remember that PPP is predicting a huge turnout too. I know both McAuliffe and Moran have much better field organizations than Deeds, by far-- its not even close. Deeds has gotten all the breaks in the polls; now, does he have the votes? The turnout will tell. There may also be a final SUSA poll out Monday.

The updated Pollster graph has a still very close race with Moran within 6% of Deeds.

VA-Gov: PPP says Deeds will win primary

It's finally out. PP_Release_VA_6074983.pdf

Deeds is now up 40-26-24, with Brian Moran in third place.  So the WaPo endorsement did it.  Not the only reason but it helped.
At least it won't be McAuliffe.

So why did Jerome's guy Brian Moran failed to catch on?  He never took off outside of Northern Virginia.  Also I think he never gave a compelling reason why he should be the nominee.  Jerome may disagree, but I never saw it.  He was the "non-McAuliffe" candidate, but that was it.  Another issue that may have tripped up Moran was Gitmo.  He seemed on the defensive.  All those local endoresements didn't help either.

With Deeds, while the WaPo endorsement legitimized his candidacy in NoVa, benefitted by being from "real Virginia." Deeds had the highest favorables of the three candidates, and leads in all regions except the 757 area code.  And PPP found 50% of the likely primary electorate are moderates.  But most importantly, Deeds was considered the "outsider" in this race, even though he has been in the legislature and ran for attorney general in 2005.

McAuliffe's decline was certainly accelerated by his fibbing on how many jobs he created.  He had real credibility and ethical issues, in addition to the "carpetbagger" issue, even though he lived in the state for 20 years.  Support from Bill Clinton and the national Democratic establishment hasn't helped.

There's more...

VA-Gov: Even more tied up

The latest Research 2000 poll shows McAuliffe slipping into 3rd, but its all within the MOE:

Deeds: 30
Moran: 27
McAuliffe: 26

The average of the last 5 polls from different pollsters has moved from a difference of 6% to an even closer 3% difference:

Deeds: 28.4
McAuliffe: 27.4
Moran 25.4

Here's the Pollster average:

The falling of McAuliffe is nearly the identical inverse of the rise of Deeds. Meanwhile, Moran keeps upticking away. I think McAuliffe will wind up taking a bit of that back from Deeds, because he's got a big paid staff and Deeds laid off his staff to buy ads. Moran will wind up gaining above his final poll standing the most, due to having the largest and deepest Democratic activist GOTV operation.

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VA Gov: All tied up

I told you this was going to come down to the final week with all three candidates tied up, and here we are. The three latest polls show Deeds, McAuliffe, and Moran all within single-digits of each other. If you are willing to bet on a slim lead within the MOE of a poll, you better be playing with the money of someone else.

The average of the last 4 polls from different pollsters puts the race at:
McAuliffe 30
Moran 25
Deeds 24

Politico has a good 40 something minute spot to watch:

Yes Politico, Moran is the progressive Democrat in the race.

Terry McAuliffe is betting on spending the most money.
Creigh Deeds is betting on a newspaper endorsement.
Brian Moran is betting that being the proven progressive, along with having the majority of the state's Mayoral endorsements (besides hundreds of other officials), and the largest online-offline grassroots campaign team, will push him over the top next Tuesday.

There's more...

Waldo, Blueweeds, McAuliffe goes negative, Moran will win

There's nothing more that I like than a truth teller, even in the face of the odds being against you. We've got less than two weeks before the Virginia election.

Two Virginia bloggers tell it like it is today.

Waldo Jaquith:

There's really nothing about McAuliffe's candidacy that I like. That he's made it this far boggles the mind. That he's leading the polls makes me fear for the sanity of the populace.

It's particularly stunning to me that some of my friends are supporting McAuliffe, and would like me to do likewise. It's as if they've discovered Scientology, and are trying to recruit me. If you'd just go to an auditor, I could get you right with Xenu, I just know I could! It's totally incomprehensible to me. Maybe there's a form of Toxoplasmosis native to McAuliffe?

Brian Moran I like. Creigh Deeds I like a lot. There are a bunch of reasons why I think Deeds would do better in the general election than Moran, and I won't belabor those, but the point is that I'd be proud to have either of them as the Democratic nominee, and I could get behind either one of them. The point here is that I'm not demonizing McAuliffe as a political opponent. I genuinely think he's an ass. Because he is.

Vote for Creigh Deeds. Failing that, vote for Brian Moran. Failing that, don't vote. Instead, consider Scientology.

And Blueweeds, following his enthusiastic endorsement of Brian Moran:

Another point. I have closely followed the posts of my colleagues in the "progressive netroots blogosphere" and attended campaign events targeted specifically at the blogging community.  I found most of their endorsements and arguments particularly un-compelling.  Too often the arguments were written from a political operatives point of view.  That is, the positions taken were focused on who could win the election and why ... rather than on the much more important point of who should win and why.  One of the benefits of being a grassroots truth-as-you-see-it blogger is that you do not (and should not) give a rip about campaign operation realities.  Just tell your readers what you see as a progressive advocate and leave operational work to the campaign drones and wannabes.

Last point, which I am intentionally understating.  I have seen the political elephant (figuratively and literally) and very little shocks me about politics.  But I find myself deeply disquieted by the political tactics used by a small but important group of "progressive netroots" bloggers who endorsed and/or work for the McAuliffe campaign.  Look.  No virgins here.  But I saw what you did, and I believe it has done real damage to the Democratic Party of Virginia.

Yes, Terry McAuliffe, who promised an all positive campaign, went negative this week, sending out a deceptive and dishonest mailer attacking both Brian Moran and Creigh Deeds. He's desperate, and we can beat him. Politico has three stories on it today, one of which I linked to on Twitter while swatting off the McAuliffe hustlers.

Brian Moran had a terrific fundraiser over at Ethel Kennedy's famed Hickory Hill estate. My WebStrong partner had 'the quote' in the WaPost about it: "The Kennedy mystique--this is it," said Moran supporter and website designer Todd Webster, as he stood on the home's back porch, drink in hand, gazing down the home's sloping green lawn. "Imagine playing touch football on that yard."

And via Salon (McAuliffe offered money to get me off ballots--whoa!), from Ralph Nader, in an interview with the Washington Post, said that then-Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe approached him with a deal: Money that would help him campaign in 31 states in exchange for a promise to get out of the race in 19 other states. Who you gonna believe, Ralph Nader or Terry McAuliffe?  I wouldn't put my money near the huckster, that's for sure.

I went out with a few fellow colleagues and put up Brian Moran signs in NoVA between the Potomac and the Richmond Hwy yesterday, from old town Alexandria to Mt Vernon. I haven't done that since '04 in Iowa for Dean. I love working for Brian Moran. I read crap put out by detractors about how he's not a great candidate, which is a bunch of bs. I know the guy pretty well, and he's in a select class with Mark Warner and Howard Dean as far as I'm concerned, because he actually just wants to govern well, not just sell himself off like some cheapass political celebrity stunt to win an ego-fulfilling election.

Speaking of Mark Warner: I believe he needs to come out and be the Big Dog of Virginia that he is, and endorse for Governor.  

So do a lot of national bloggers. It's time to get off the fence (or just notice there's a battle going on over here) and tell your Virginia readers the truth about Terry McAuliffe; because while many Virginians have figured out this guy over the past few months, we've had a history of in the netroots against his brand of politics the entire decade to date, and that needs to be reminded.

Update [2009-5-29 0:1:27 by Jerome Armstrong]:

John Nichols: "McAuliffe is asking the Democrats of Virginia to nominate him for a position of public trust. If he does not have a better explanation than the one that has so far been offered, there can and will be serious questioning of whether he's got that ought to be expected of major-party nominee and a governor."

The Operative Word: "I’d call this the worst day of the Terry McAuliffe campaign for governor."

Jim Severt: "Why Moran Will Win It on the 9th …and November 3rd"

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