Another poll sure to cause a bad day at Deeds for Governor HQ:
Bob McDonnell has opened up a double digit lead over Creigh Deeds in his quest to be Virginia’s next Governor. He now leads 52-40, up from 48-43 three weeks ago.
McDonnell’s standing is largely the result of two things: considerable support from independents and a disengaged Democratic electorate. With independents, who tend to split pretty evenly, the Republican leads 60-31. And while Barack Obama won Virginia by six points last year, the voters planning to turn out this fall supported John McCain by six points, a clear indication that many Democratic voters are just planning to stay at home.
That lack of Democratic enthusiasm has been the story for much of the general election campaign. 56% of McDonnell supporters say they’re ‘very excited’ about voting this fall while only 34% of Deeds’ backers share that sentiment.
While they’ve gotten a lot less attention it actually seems that McDonnell’s attacks on Deeds have been more effective. When we first polled the general election in early July 29% of voters in the state had an unfavorable opinion of Deeds. Now 48% do. McDonnell’s negatives have increased only from 32% to 35% during that time. At the start of the campaign they both had a net favorability rating of +19. Now McDonnell’s is +21 and Deeds’ is -7.
Deeds’ difficulties are having implications down the ballot. Ken Cuccinelli leads Steve Shannon 52-37 for Attorney General and Bill Bolling has a 49-39 advantage over Jody Wagner for Lieutenant Governor. Beyond that Republicans lead 46-36 on the generic ballot for the House of Delegates.
Thirteen days out, it’s really looking like these races are over.