VA-Gov: McDonnell Soars in New SUSA Poll

SurveyUSA (7/27-28, likely voters, 6/5-7 in parens):

Creigh Deeds (D): 40 (43)

Bob McDonnell (R): 55 (47)

Jody Wagner (D): 42

Bill Bolling (R-inc): 54

Steve Shannon (D): 42

Ken Cuccinelli (R): 53

(MoE: ±4.3%)

Whoa, those are some pug-ugly numbers for Democrats. Sure, McDonnell has gained back a bit of ground in recent weeks after Deeds’ primary bounce faded, but are things really this bad for Team Blue? (The second and third head-to-heads listed here are the Lt. Governor and Attorney General races, respectively.)

One note of caution is that SUSA’s voter ID composition for this poll has gyrated fairly significantly in the Republican direction. Back in June, their general election poll was composed of a 36% Dem, 34% GOP sample. This time, the poll is 38% Republican, 32% Dem. That’s an unusually favorable spread for the GOP; recent polls by R2K and PPP had 39D-32R and 34D-33R samples, respectively. Not coincidentally, those pollsters also showed a tighter gubernatorial race.

UPDATE: One thing that I missed in my first scan of the poll is that SUSA asked voters who they picked for President in 2008… and according to this sample, it was 52-43 in John McCain’s favor. (Obama won Virginia by 53-46.) Now, it could be that McCain fans are feeling pumped up these days and Obama voters are still taking a jenga break, but it’s clear that we’re dealing with a very different universe of voters here.

RaceTracker: VA-Gov