SurveyUSA poll

One Down, 39 To Go?

Republicans need to gain 40 seats in November's midterm elections to win control of the House of Representatives. Ten percent of that goal is in Virginia, where targeted incumbent Democrats Rick Boucher (VA-9), Gerry Connolly (VA-11), Glenn Nye (VA-2) and Tom Perriello (VA-5) are being challenged by House of Delegates Majority Leader Morgan Griffith, Keith Fimian, Scott Rigell and Virginia Senator Robert Hurt, respectively. Connolly, Nye and Perriello all are freshmen and Perriello may be the number one GOP target in the entire country given his razor thin victory in 2008 and the 5th's generally conservative leanings (Charlottesville Daily Progress). Perhaps no House win pleased liberals more. Now, according to a poll released yesterday by SurveyUSA for Roanoke television station WDBJ, Representative Perriello may be toast (see American Prospect's Tapped Blog and the Washington Post's Virginia Politics Blog). It shows the 5th to be a blowout already: Hurt up by a 58-35 margin (see National Review Online's Campaign Spot Blog).

While many GOP House candidates are polling well, few have the numbers that elicited a "WOW" from NRO's Jim Geraghty. Of course, polls this early can mean anything and the pros will say SurveyUSA is not a top tier pollster on the lines of Mason-Dixon or Rasmussen Reports. But, SurveyUSA was the first to poll Virginia last summer (51 weeks ago, to be exact) and it had all three statewide races right from the beginning to the very end, including double digit leads when all the more "reputable" polls showed it closer. In fact, one political pro told me the SurveyUSA results were "embarrassing," but the only people embarrassed last November were the doubters and the Democrats.

The numbers are even more astounding considering a hard fought Republican primary, a Libertarian candidate and some TEA Party dissatisfaction with Senator Hurt. (SurveyUSA breaks down its research here.) It admits it has factored Republican turnout to be much greater than Democrat turnout (not surprising since when comparing the U.Va. student drop-of from 2008, where Perriello benefited from a large Barack Obama student turnout, to 2009). However, SurveyUSA says even if it factors in a 50-50 Republican-Democrat turnout, Hurt still wins by 11 points. At this point. (Which would allow the GOP to focus on the other three seats.) But, if the trend holds, it's a remarkable sign for House Republicans — and one down and 39 to go.

Robo Kaine Desperate To Salvage Shannon

The DNC Chairman, Governor Tim Kaine (contact here) sounded off last night in the attorney general's campaign. Literally. He voiced a "robo call" on behalf of Democrat AG candidate Steve Shannon. Unfortunately, he really didn't have much to say about Delegate Shannon's qualifications. Instead, he launched into a vicious attack on Republican attorney general candidate Ken Cuccinelli, using a Washington Post editorial as cover for calling him "bigoted" (see Norm's Leahy's first-hand account at Tertium Quids). I, myself, got a call from an African-American friend immediately after he received the call. He reasoned the calls were going into African-American neighborhoods to pump the fear of Satan into otherwise disinterested black voters. But they also went into upper income, socially conscious (i.e., "moderate") white neighborhoods, too, the areas that the GOP seems to be gaining back this campaign. Which makes sense: with a double digit lead, the only way to defeat Senator Cuccinelli is to expand the voter universe and flip some votes (or get them to skip the AG ballot).

What is interesting is why the DNC chairman and his hacks think they can pick off Senator Cuccinelli. In the SurveyUSA poll, out today, he has the largest lead of the three (20 points!) — and even the Democrat Public Policy Poll says he leads in all regions of the commonwealth, including the liberal bastion of Northern Virginia. (How can that be?) The answer? Trashing the constitution and our founding principles. By parodying Senator Cuccinelli's principled stands and record of adhering strictly to the constitution, liberals think they can caricature him into something abominable because adhering to Life and Liberty aren't nearly so important as doling out government-style happiness.

No matter whether one interprets "bigotry" to be the racial kind or the "intolerant of other lifestyles" kind (the call left that open to your interpretation), it's interesting to note that it was Senator Cuccinelli who accepted, attended, spoke and stayed late to meet people at the Virginia NAACP's recent forum and Delegate Shannon who accepted — but stood them up. It's also strange that Governor Kaine thought highly enough of Senator Cuccinelli to work with him on this summer's special session to remedy the impact on Virginia from the U.S. Supreme Court's Melendez-Diaz decision. (You remember . . .the session Shannon called a "political stunt.")

Even stranger is Delegate Shannon's previous dinner engagements at the home of Senator Cuccinelli. Guess he was an okay guy before he went up double digits, huh? 

Ever since he took the DNC job, Governor Kaine has not been able to decide whether he is governor or desperate partisan in chief. His level of campaigning is beneath the dignity of the office Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson once occupied.

BREAKING NEWS: McDonnell, Bolling, Cuccinelli All With Huge Leads In WDBJ-TV/SurveyUSA Poll

A just released SurveyUSA poll for Roanoke CBS television affiliate WDBJ-TV/7 has all three Republican statewide candidates up by double digits. Gubernatorial candidate, former Attorney General Bob McDonnell leads Democrat Creigh Deeds, a senator from Bath County, by 55 percent to 40 percent.

Incumbent Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, running for re-election, leads his Democrat opponent, former Finance Secretary Jody Wagner, 54 percent to 42 percent.

Attorney General candidate Ken Cuccinelli, a senator from Fairfax County, leads Democrat Steve Shannon, a delegate from Fairfax, 53 percent to 42 percent.

The poll asked 526 voters, "If the election for (office) were today, who would you vote for . . . ?" with the names rotated each question and with the candidates' party identification preceding their names. There is a margin of error of 4.3 percent for the first two, and 4.4 percent for the AG race.

One thing comes quickly to mind: This early in a campaign, normally there are much more undecided voters, especially when choosing between two names with whom they may or may not be familiar. The fact that SurveyUSA used each candidate's party label may be the reason for the high positive numbers for the GOP candidates given the consistent downward plunge in the favorable ratings of President Barack Obama, for his government takeover schemes in manufacturing and finance, and now in health care; as well as Governor Tim Kaine's unpopularity for his job sharing as Democrat National Committee chairman, Virginia's constant incorrect budget revenue forecasts, and the state's IT contract controversy with Northrup Grumman.

Here's more analysis from Eric Kleefeld at Talking Points Memo. According to the poll's internals, 14 percent of those who voted for Mr. Obama last year now say they will vote for McDonnell, while 9 percent who voted for Republican Senator John McCain last November will vote for Deeds. SurveyUSA last polled the gubernatorial race after Deeds' Democrat primary victory in early June. At that point, McDonnell led by 47 percent to 43 percent.

Virginia News Stand: April 30, 2009

We are back with the News Stand sooner than we thought, here at the close of business for April, where we learn, from the Wall Street Journal, that despite hundreds of billions of tax dollars spent since 1971, high school test scores have barely budged! How does that make you feel? Yet, the Commonwealth and the VEA seek more of your hard-earned money. In other news, one has to wonder that if the gubernatorial campaign is like this now, what will it be like come September? October? We've seen the Dem candidates try to out-pander themselves to the teachers union and to homosexual activists. Now, according the Washington Post, it's really getting nasty. On another burgeoning campaign issue, House Speaker Bill Howell and Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell have whacked the ball back in Governor Kaine's court, requesting the governor's boss take the federal strings off before we accept it.

Meanwhile, the Democrat infighting is all to McDonnell's early advantage, as a news SurveyUSA poll has him leading all three Dems. However, looking at the survey's universe, it doesn't look to be the best indicator. Contrary to some other polling, it has Terry McAuliffe way out in front in the Democrat primary. Still, it confirms what the more reputable Rasmussen poll a few weeks ago suggests: That McDonnell is making inroads among the general electorate.

Finally, in a commentary, Bobby Eberle documents a disturbing aspect of the Obama administration, something of which we've commented upon: Namely, his disdain for anyone — politicians, media or now, what with the Tea Parties, common folk — who disagree with him. More than disdain, it's demonization . . . or worse. Now that the "hate crimes" bill has passed the House, we're one step closer to being arrested for expressing our opinions.

News:

McDonnell, Howell say Congress should remove strings from stimulus money (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Democrats vying for governor debate over gun issues, energy (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Tone Toughens in Race for Governor (Washington Post)

New poll puts McDonnell ahead of 3 Democratic candidates for governor (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Teachers Offer Lessons in Race for Governor (Washington Post)

Surrogates Sling Mud in Va. Race (Washington Post)

Democrat seeking Bedford House seat (Lynchburg News & Advance

Virginia seeks education funding (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

National News:

House bill offers gays greater protection (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Few Gains Are Seen in High School Test (Wall Street Journal)

Commentary:

Obama Marks 100 Days in Office . . . By Mocking Concerned Americans!(Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com)