Another poll confirms gap is closed, but McDonnell still leads

Bob McDonnell’s lead over Creigh Deeds in the Virginia governor’s race in a new Public Policy Polling survey of Virginia voters is at five points, down from a peak of 14 points in the summer and seven points a month ago.

The key factors in the McDonnell lead, according to PPP: his 53 percent-to-37 percent lead among independents and his strength relative to Deeds among their respective party bases. The PPP numbers have McDonnell polling 96 percent of self-identified Republican voters, while Deeds is getting 82 percent of the self-ID’d Democratic vote.

A positive for Deeds: 53 percent of the remaining undecideds are self-identified Democrats, while only 7 percent of that group is self-ID’d Republicans. That would suggest room for significant improvement for Deeds as Election Day nears.

Another tidbit of interest: Both candidates have seen their negatives increase dramatically. McDonnell had a net favorability rating a month ago of +22 (53 percent favorable/31 percent unfavorable). His favorability rating is now +5 (47 percent favorable/42 percent unfavorable). Deeds had been at +12 a month ago (47 percent favorable/35 percent unfavorable), and is now at +1 (43 percent favorable/42 percent unfavorable).

A final nugget of note: The likely-voter model has shifted from reflecting an electorate that voted 49 percent for John McCain and 45 percent for Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential race to one that voted 48 percent for Obama and 45 percent for McCain last year.

The trends would seem to indicate a GOTV election.


– Story by Chris Graham

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