Republicans and Democrats operatives agree that Ken Cuccinelli is heading to a resounding defeat in next week’s Virginia governor’s race, potentially by a double-digit margin to Terry McAuliffe. But the new Washington Post/Abt-SRBI poll, consistent with other reputable statewide surveys, shows just how grim things have gotten for the state Attorney General.
— Terry McAuliffe, despite his reputation, ends the campaign well-liked. A clear majority of likely Virginia voters (53%) view him favorably, with 44% viewing him unfavorably. A 55% majority are satisfied with the field. Few of the damaging stories about McAuliffe’s business record stuck. By a 9-point margin, McAuliffe is seen as “more honest and trustworthy.” And Cuccinelli, in part because of his troubled relations with the GOP-leaning business community, has been badly outraised and unable to drive home a sustained, anti-McAuliffe message on the airwaves.
— The federal government shutdown doomed Cuccinelli’s campaign. Over two-thirds of voters said the issue was important to them, with 55% declaring it “very important.” A whopping 82% of Virginians disapprove of the government shutdown, including 68% of Republicans. Just over half blame Republicans in Congress, and over one-third said they were inconvenienced by the shutdown. (In fact, slightly more Republicans than Democrats in Virginia are employed by the federal government, per the survey.)
— Libertarian Robert Sarvis isn’t a spoiler. Sarvis, who polls at 8%, is at least taking as many votes from McAuliffe than from Cuccinelli. Polled on who their second choice would be, 53% of Sarvis supporters would back McAuliffe, with 42% supporting Cuccinelli. (It’s a small subsample, but other surveys also point to a fairly even split.)
As NJ‘s Beth Reinhard first reported, things have gotten so bad that GOP efforts and money are now concentrating on saving the one salvageable downballot race — the state AG contest. “This should have been a slam dunk. Virginia almost always votes against the president’s party,” former Virginia GOP congressman Tom Davis told The Hotline. “Republicans need to ask what’s wrong with our business model here.”
What We're Following See More »
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who will resign from Congress on Friday, will contribute to Fox News Channel and the Fox Business Channel starting July 1.
"A consulting firm led by Paul Manafort, who chaired Donald Trump’s presidential campaign for several months last year, retroactively filed forms Tuesday showing that his firm received $17.1 million over two years from a political party that dominated Ukraine before its leader fled to Russia in 2014."