Breaking Down Recent Virginia Polls

Finding the Nuggets that explain things

Several polls have come out recently on the Virginia 2021 elections and they are, as usual, quite revealing beyond the top line messaging.

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For instance, from the Christopher Newport Wason Center Survey:

Q - In politics today, do you generally consider yourself to be a Republican, a Democrat, or an Independent?

  1. Democrat 38%

  2. Independent 34%

  3. Republican 25%

Q - When it comes to your ideology, would you consider yourself to be a…(describe ideology) which we total up here:

47% - Moderate Leaning Conservative to Conservative to Strong Conservative 16/17/14

42% - Moderate Leaning Liberal to Liberal to Strong Liberal 24/10/8

When one compares these two polls, one sees just how bad the Republican brand is in Virginia.

Virginia is ideologically more Center Right (47%) than Center Left (42%), but the state GOP is still a distant third when it comes to political self identification.

The Virginia GOP is more conservative than the Democratic Party is liberal, but the plurality of Virginia voters (40%) self describe as Moderates. This is why Moderate Democrats dominate in statewide races - they go where the votes are.

Maybe the Virginia GOP will go where the votes are?

Cue this scene from Airplane!

Maybe we ought to turn on the search lights now..

No. That’s just what they’ll be expecting us to do…

As we have said for sometime, Virginia Democrats aren’t as progressive as you might think. Democrats have been winning, especially since 2017, on the back of the Anti-Trump wave.

Before that it took a national headline scandal involving a sitting governor, an unpopular gubernatorial nominee in Ken Cuccinelli, and a federal government shutdown for the Democrats to barely win in 2013. Reminder: Terry McAuliffe won 47.7 to 45.2 with 6.5 going to a third party candidate four years after Bob McDonnell won by 17.

Now that Trump is off the headlines, Virginia Democrats could find themselves having gone too far left, too quickly for Virginia voters. Fortunately for them, they compete every day against a political party that can’t break off the message:

Think we’re crazy now, just look at who is our leading candidate for governor!

And that candidate - the junior senator from Chesterfield - is badly upside down on her Favorable - Unfavorable rating 9 to 14. If she happens to win the nomination, the Democrats will likely win the governor’s race with over 60% of the statewide vote which would jeopardize the GOP chances of winning back the House of Delegates - currently rated a Toss Up.

The sole purpose of candidates is to do what the public tells them to do. To represent them if you will. They go around polling various constituencies on this and that but never seem to get what Forrest Gump does in basic training when he is called a “god damn genius” by his drill sergeant.

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