Augusta Free Press

Two polls: McDonnell up 13 in Rasmussen, 18 in VCU

A new Rasmussen Reports poll has Republican gubernatorial nominee Bob McDonnell leading Democrat Creigh Deeds by a 54 percent-to-41 percent margin, and a new Virginia Commonwealth University Commonwealth Poll has McDonnell leading by a 54 percent-to-36 percent gap.

Both polls, released on Wednesday, make clear that the strategy of the Deeds campaign to hinge its chances for victory on Nov. 3 on the fallout from the controversial 1989 McDonnell grad-school thesis that blasted working women, public education and gays and lesbians, among others, has failed, and failed miserably.

“The controversy over McDonnell’s thesis raised a number of issues about the policy positions and ideological leanings of these candidates. It’s fascinating to see how differently Virginia voters see the choices before them. Deeds’ supporters mostly see a choice between a moderate Democrat and a very conservative Republican. McDonnell’s supporters mostly see a conservative, but not a very conservative, Republican and a liberal Democrat,” said Cary Funk, Ph.D., director of the Commonwealth Poll and an associate professor in the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at VCU.

Only 6 percent of likely McDonnell voters see him as “too conservative,” according to the Commonwealth Poll. Sixty-four percent of McDonnell supporters, in contrast, view Deeds as either “liberal” or “very liberal.”

Independent voters, meanwhile, are breaking in big numbers for McDonnell, another indication of the failure of the strategy from the Deeds camp. The Commonwealth Poll has McDonnell leading Deeds among independent voters by a 56 percent-to-29 percent margin, in line with what we’ve seen from other polls in recent days.

Interesting tidbit from Rasmussen: The split on the thesis being important or not important to the election was at 41 percent saying important and 51 percent saying not important. The numbers roughly correspond to support for the two candidates in the Rasmussen rendering.

 

– Story by Chris Graham