VA-Gov: McAuliffe Posts Big Primary Lead in New SUSA Poll, But McDonnell Leads All Comers

SurveyUSA (4/25-27, likely voters):

Terry McAuliffe (D): 38

Brian Moran (D): 22

Creigh Deeds (D): 22

Other/Undecided: 18

(MoE: ±4.9%)

This is SUSA’s first poll of the Virginia Democratic gubernatorial primary, and also the first one to show ex-DNC Chair Terry McAuliffe with a significant lead. It appears that his fundraising prowess may be reaping some early dividends. While Moran is polling best in his vote-rich home turf (northeast VA) at 47%, he’s virtually a non-factor throughout the rest of the state, especially in southeast and central Virginia, where McAuliffe is performing strongly.

In the general election, however, Republican AG Bob McDonnell is leading all three Democrats:

Creigh Deeds (D): 39

Bob McDonnell (R): 44

Terry McAuliffe (D): 39

Bob McDonnell (R): 46

Brian Moran (D): 34

Bob McDonnell (R): 46

(MoE: ±2.7%)

This is not quite as fugly as the 10-to-15 point leads that McDonnell was amassing in a recent Rasmussen poll, but they still indicate that the Democratic nominee will have to hit the ground running as soon as the primary ends. Team Blue may take some small comfort in the fact that Republican Jerry Kilgore (himself a former AG) was leading Tim Kaine through almost every public poll until October 2005, but our field this time has an arguably bigger name recognition hole to climb out of this time around.

17 thoughts on “VA-Gov: McAuliffe Posts Big Primary Lead in New SUSA Poll, But McDonnell Leads All Comers”

  1. It looks like the eventual nominee has a lot of potential in Northern Virginia – each of the 3 Dems is only carrying 42-46 in “northeast virginia”, and Obama got 55-60% in the northeastern counties.  

  2. My concern is the fact that their regional breakdown for the general is so skewed towards SWVA — equal to NoVa, which is just ridiculous.

  3. This poll (11/4/08 poll)

    Dem – 37% (38)

    Rep – 33% (36)

    Ind – 28% (24)

    White – 76% (72)

    Black – 17% (18)


    Shenandoah – 27% (24)

    Northeast – 26% (26)

    Southeast – 19% (22)

    Central – 27% (27)

    Sample sounds reasonable by most measures.

  4. This poll is much different from the last edition of Public Policy Polling’s poll of the Virginia Democratic Gubernatorial Primary.  That poll had the Undecideds at 46% and had Moran with a slight lead followed by McAuliffe and then Deeds.  Does Anyone have any thoughts as to why the two polls are so different?  

  5. Lower name rec now compared to the same point in 2005 actually helps us b/c there really is nowhere to go but up.  Poll respondents won’t say they support a candidate whose name they don’t recognize or who they just don’t know anything about, thus artificially depressing that candidate’s support.

    Very quickly after the June 9 primary the polling will shift to show McDonnell’s lead in all credible polls down to the low-to-mid-single digits.  The Democratic nominee likely will consistently poll over 40 by July.  And then it’s a race to the finish line.

    Make no mistake, McDonnell has an early edge, and using Stu Rothenberg’s finely-tuned rating categories I’d call it “toss-up/lean Rep” rather than “pure toss-up.”  We’ll have a lot of work to do.  But it’s very winnable once our nominee is clear, if he runs a competent combined messaging, media, and ground campaign.

  6. Have any experts on VA poltiics done an analysis of the State House and Senate landscape?  We narrowly took the State Senate in 2007 and the repubs have only a small majority left in the State House.  I wonder how those races will shake out.

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