WashPost In Pain: Their Poll Finds Conservative Cuccinelli Leads for Virginia Governor by Ten Points

The Washington Post put a poll it doesn’t like on the front of Sunday’s paper: Six months before Election Day in the Virginia gubernatorial race, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli “has a slender 46 to 41 percent edge over [Terry] McAuliffe (D) among all Virginia voters and a significant 51 to 41 percent lead among those who say they’re certain to cast ballots in November.”

The Post has tried for years to demonize Cuccinelli, so it can’t quite believe it. “But those numbers may change before then: The poll found that barely 10 percent say they are following the campaign ‘very closely’ and that nearly half of the electorate says they’re either undecided or could change their minds.” But Republicans are hardly undecided:

Cuccinelli  is up in the race because he has overwhelming support from the GOP base. Among all registered voters, he’s backed by 95 percent of Republicans, 73 percent of conservatives and 62 percent among white men.

By contrast, compared with Obama’s win seven months ago, McAuliffe, the former Democratic National Committee chairman, is badly underperforming among key Democratic constituencies he would need to prevail — young voters, women, African Americans and those in the vote-rich areas of Northern Virginia....

McAuliffe beats Cuccinelli by a big margin among nonwhite voters, 57 to 21 percent, but that is far from Obama’s tally of 83 to 16 percent in the state’s exit poll. Even state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath) scored 76 percent among nonwhite voters in his unsuccessful 2009 gubernatorial bid.

McAuliffe and Cuccinelli are about evenly matched among female voters (Obama won women’s votes by nine percentage points), and the Democrat is lagging among younger voters, too. Obama crushed former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R) by 19 points among voters under 40, but these voters divide 48 percent for Cuccinelli to 39 percent for McAuliffe.

OUCH. Cuccinelli, the one the Post thinks is a far-right religious fuddy-duddy, is winning among the under-40 crowd!  He's polling less well than Creigh Deeds, who the Democrats quickly decided was a disaster when he lost four years ago.

The Post is looking for a silver lining: "One potential positive for McAuliffe is that 45 percent of voters aren’t yet following the race closely. And McAuliffe does far better among those very closely tuned in than he does among those yet to pay much attention." The Post also has to be unhappy that only nine percent said they were following the Post's heavy-rotation reporting on Cuccinelli's and Gov. Bob McDonnell's relationships with the firm Star Scientific.

The Post even ran a sidebar on A18 headlined "McAuliffe's votes from blacks could fall short."

2013 Governors Washington Post Virginia Ken Cuccinelli Terry McAuliffe
Tim Graham's picture