GOP Poll: Obama Unpopular In Perriello's District
Republicans are pointing to internal polling that suggests that Pres. Obama will do more harm than good for Democratic Rep. Tom Perriello this evening when Obama holds a rally for him in Charlottesville, Va.
The polling suggests that Obama's visit could do more to rally the base of Perriello's challenger, state Sen. Robert Hurt (R), than help Perriello's chances.
According to Republican polling obtained by Hotline On Call, Obama holds higher disapproval ratings in Virginia's 5th District than he does nationwide.
More than half of the district -- 53 percent -- disapproves of Obama's performance as president, according to the McLaughlin and Associates survey that was conducted for the National Republican Congressional Committee. Forty-five percent approve of his performance.
In Gallup's national daily tracking, a similar percentage - 44 percent -- approve of Obama's job performance, but fewer -- 49% percent -- disapprove.
And while Obama has maintained strong personal favorability numbers,his numbers in Perriello's district are lagging behind. Half of the 400 likely voters in the survey view him personally unfavorably, while 43 percent view him favorably.
The NRCC also tested whether voters in the 5th District want their member in Congress to be a check and balance on Obama or someone who would help the president. Forty-nine percent said they wanted a representative who stood against Obama, while 40 percent said they wanted one who supported him. Perriello has been a reliable vote for Obama on his signature pieces of legislation this year -- health care, the cap-and-trade energy bill and the stimulus.
Obama's decision to hold a rally for Perriello was considered risky from the outset. Because of the district's conservative leanings -- it gave John McCain (R-Ariz.) 51 percent in 2008 -- observers have suggested the visit could create a backlash against Perriello.
Democrats counter that argument by noting that Obama's main objective with Friday's rally is to gin up the Democratic base. That's how Perriello won in 2008, with record numbers of college-aged voters from Charlottesville -- the home of the University of Virginia -- and the sizable number of districtwide African-American voters showing up at the polls to back Obama and downballot Democrats
But the electorate in 2010 is shaping up as truer to the district's conservative Southside Virginia roots, and even substantial base turnout for a midterm may not be enough for Perriello to win a second term.