Worst to first

Creigh Deeds has moved from the back of the pack to the front with a week to go in the 2009 Democratic Party gubernatorial contest, according to a poll released Tuesday.
Deeds registered at 27 percent in the Public Policy Polling poll, with Terry McAuliffe at 24 percent and Brian Moran at 22 percent. The most recent PPP poll had McAuliffe at 29 percent and Deeds and Moran at 20 percent each, and a month ago McAuliffe had held a significant lead at 30 percent to 20 percent for Moran and just 14 percent for Deeds.

Where Deeds appears to be gaining ground is in Northern Virginia, on the heels, perhaps, of the Washington Post endorsement that came out last week. A Survey USA poll of NoVa residents released yesterday showed Deeds making noticeable gains in the region that will supply about 30 percent of the votes in the June 9 primary.

The McAuliffe juggernaut, on the other hand, is feeling the effects of a double shot of negative attacks from the Deeds and Moran camps, both of whom having taken the approach of hitting the former frontrunner hard back when it appeared that the race was the former Democratic National Committee chair’s to lose.

The body blows have been felt most noticeably in Richmond and Hampton Roads, where McAuliffe has dropped in the area of 10 points each in the last two weeks in the PPP polls.

It is important to note that the difference between the three candidates is now well within the margin of error of the poll. “We’ve been saying for months this was anyone’s game and it’s more true now than ever,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “All three candidates have a perfectly reasonable chance of coming out on top next Tuesday.”

Jody Wagner appears to be in command in the race for the lieutenant-governor nomination, registering 27 percent support to 11 percent for Mike Signer. That does still leave 62 percent of the expected primary electorate undecided with a week to go before the election.

 

– Story by Chris Graham


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