We're awash in polls right now and the attending controversy they inevitably entail. But a new poll released a few hours ago may shed light on which polls are more accurate — or not (see Politico.com). Rasmussen Reports today released a poll that shows Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell leading his Democrat opponent, Senator Creigh Deeds, 51-42 (see RasmussenReports.com). Rasmussen's previous poll had the difference at only two percentage points, contributing to the perception of a tightening race. Subsequent polls from the liberal Washington Post (a four-point difference), which has endorsed Deeds, and Public Policy Polling, a Democrat leaning firm, (a five-point difference) confirmed that perception.
Yesterday, however, a SurveyUSA/WDBJ poll had the GOP ticket up by double digits. But it was largely ignored by the Mainstream Media because its results are out of line with the others. Now, the very reputable Rasmussen poll seems as close to the SurveyUSA/WDBJ poll as it does the PPP poll (which one Richmond radio station reported on for a full 24 hours). Furthermore, even the PPP poll has Republican Lt. Governor Bill Bolling and attorney general candidate Senator Ken Cuccinelli up by eight and nine points, respectively, further validating the point of view that the GOP ticket has a significant lead.
Who's right — those who say it's close or those who think the GOP is on its way? We won't know until election day. But Rasmussen does have a track record. According to a testimonial on its Web site, it "produces some of the most accurate and reliable polls in the country today." None other than Virginia politico guru Dr. Larry Sabato said it.