Democratic Primary voters MoE 5%
Creigh Deeds (D) 30 (13)
Brian Moran (D) 27 (22)
Terry McAuliffe (D) 26 (36)
Undecided 17 (29)
Off the bat, the numbers are clearly a statistical tie, leading to the obvious conclusion that the best field organization is going to win this thing. But looking at the trends, a couple of things stand out:
- Whatever the opposite of "momentum" is, McAuliffe has that.
- Check out Deeds -- a whopping 17-point gain in just two weeks. The momentum is clearly his. Now Deeds has bet everything on an air campaign, even laying off staff to conserve resources to do it. Will he still have the resources to drag people out to the polls, especially his newfound support in NoVa?
- Undecideds dropped by 12 points, McAuliffe lost another 10. While we can't assume direct correlation, the math ads up -- 17 to Deeds, five to Moran.
- The 2006 Democratic Senate primary between Harris Miller and Jim Webb had a turnout of just 3.45% (not a typo). This race is significantly higher profile, but turnout should still be frightfully low. That means the campaigns face an apathetic, uninterested electorate. Whichever campaign has the more motivated supporters, and has the ground game to drag them out to the polls, will win this thing.
Interestingly, the candidate favorabilies are mostly unchanged:
Deeds 62/20 (56/17)
Moran 60/16 (56/16)
McAuliffe 62/21 (62/19)
Deeds is +3 on net favorability, Moran +4, and McAuliffe -2. You'd think with such wild swings in the head-to-heads that there'd be more movement happening with the favorables, but not really.
I had Research 2000 break down the regional numbers. The numbers in parenthesis are from two weeks ago:
Democratic Primary Voters
NOVA 126 (32%)
REST 274 (68%)
ALL NoVa Rest
Deeds 30 (13) 22 (6) 34 (16)
Moran 27 (22) 42 (37) 20 (15)
McAuliffe 26 (36) 28 (43) 25 (33)
Undecided 17 (29) 8 (14) 21 (36)
Both Deeds' and Moran's movement is essentially equal across both regions. McAuliffe took his biggest hit in NoVa. In the 2005 Lt. Governor primary, 32.48 percent of the vote came from Northern Virginia (NoVa). In the 2006 Senate primary, 44.65 percent did. R2K is betting on 2005-like numbers, which given the strong southern-VA candidate, may be the safer bet. But if the numbers end up being closer to 2006's, then Moran has the edge -- especially since Moran's field operation appears concentrated in NoVa while Deed's has little in the region.
In the general election head-to-heads, Moran trails Republican Bob McDonnell by seven, McAuliffe trails by 10, and Deeds by 13.