More of the same: Another poll has McAuliffe with big lead in governor’s race
Former governor Terry McAuliffe is getting distressingly close to the 50 percent mark in the Democratic Party gubernatorial primary, according to a poll out this week from Christopher Newport University.
I use the term “distressingly” because, let’s be honest, more of the same isn’t going to get us anywhere or anything substantive, just endless press releases about incremental baby steps on gun control and healthcare sold as “bold new plans” that don’t do anything to make anybody’s lives better.
The Wason Center for Public Policy poll has McAuliffe at 47 percent in the five-candidate field, with undecided coming in second, at 27 percent.
Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, who seems to be barely running a campaign, reporting $300,000 in campaign receipts through March 31, $275,000 of that total coming in in-kind contributions for IT and political consulting, is next at 8 percent.
The two Jennifers, McClellan (6 percent) and Carroll Foy (5 percent), and Del. Lee Carter (1 percent) are bringing up the rear at this point, with early voting set to begin on Friday.
It’s only going to get more pronounced from this stage. McAuliffe had raised just under $10 million for his campaign as of March 31, and had $8.5 million on hand for TV and digital ads and junk mail to remind you of his bold plans.
Aside: is it too late for somebody to call in whatever they have to call in to get him an appointment in the Biden administration?
The Wason Center poll has the LG race as a toss-up. Roanoke Del. Sam Rasoul, our choice among the quality field, has the marginal lead, at 12 percent, but 64 percent of likely primary voters are undecided, which is not a surprise, given that few even know what a lieutenant governor does, and fewer care.
The AG race is tightening ever so slightly, with two-term Attorney General Mark Herring holding at 42 percent, and Norfolk Del. Jay Jones, who notched the surprise endorsement of Gov. Ralph Northam, improving from 3 percent in the last Wason Center poll to 18 percent.
Thirty-four percent are still undecided in the AG race.
The poll, of note, registers 83 percent of Democratic Party voters as “enthusiastic” or “somewhat enthusiastic” about the primary, which is awfully nice of 83 percent of Democratic Party voters to say, but then there’s reality.
Reality being: overall voter turnout in the most recent Democratic Party primary, in 2017, was 9.9 percent.
Virginia doesn’t allow voters to register by party, but using the most recent data we have available from Gallup, which dates, coincidentally, to 2017, and we really need to get more up to date information than four years ago, but that’s another story for another day, 45 percent of Virginians consider themselves Democrats.
If 45 percent of Virginians are Democrats, and turnout in that year’s contested party primary was 9.9 percent, that’s more like 25 percent, thereabouts, of Democrats actually bothering to cast their lots for the party nominations.
Which is how we end up with the additional heaping helpings of more of the same.
Story by Chris Graham