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xcurmudgeon

A look at the crosstabs...
...leads to some interesting points.

First, 43% of the electorate professes to have their minds made up for Governor.  Of those, McAuliffe leads with 17% of the total vote, Deeds has 12% of the total vote, and Moran has 11% of the total vote.  Interestingly, there is another 3% professing to have their minds made up to be undecided.  Overall, 57% say that they are open to changing their minds, down from 64% three weeks ago.  This is still an extremely fluid situation.

Second, Moran has 43% of the vote in NoVa; McAuliffe gets 33%, Deeds gets 10%.  That leaves 14% undecided.  Conventional wisdom is that Moran needs to be winning in NoVa by 20% or more, and it looks like he isn't going to get it.  Moran's failure to get a 20% margin is not only bad news for his own campaign, but it makes a Deeds victory much less likely, because most of that additional 10% figures to be going to McAuliffe.  The 14%, it seems to me, is really up for grabs -- conventional wisdom is that undecideds tend to break against the incumbent in the last week or so, on the theory that people are undecided about the person with the highest name recognition or greatest familiarity to them.  In NoVa, that would be Brian Moran.  But will they then go for Creigh or for Terry?  Maybe they have seen McAuliffe and just can't pull the lever for him and they vote for Creigh?  Or maybe they know Creigh from 4 years ago and just can't vote for him this time?  

Third, there won't be much difference in November among the Democrats in Northern Virginia.  Bob McDonnell gets 41% against each of them, with Brian at 47%, Terry at 45% and Creigh at 41%.  My guess is that in November we have close to a repeat of 2005 in Northern Virginia, where the Democrat beats the Republican by a substantial majority, with no more than about a 3% difference depending on who the Democrat is.

Fourth, where Terry really takes his big lead is in the area that the pollsters call "Southeast Virginia."  Terry gets 52% there, to Creigh's 19% and Brian's 16%.  

Fifth, one thing that may drive turnout is local primaries.  If there is a hotly contested House of Delegates primary on the same ballot, turnout may be unusually high in that locality.  According to the SBE website, there are 9 contested primaries for House of Delegates, plus one contested primary for Tazewell County Board of Supervisors.  Of the 10 primaries, 4 -- the 35th, 38th, 47th and 52nd -- are in the area that SurveyUSA would call "Northeast Virginia," and the proportionally higher turnout there would benefit Moran or McAuliffe and disadvantage Deeds.  Three -- in Roanoke's 11th, the 25th in the Harrisonburg/Waynesboro area, and Tazewell County -- should benefit Deeds.  Two -- the 80th in Portsmouth and Norfolk and the 90th in Norfolk -- should benefit McAuliffe (though in the 90th, Lionell Spruill, Jr., is running to unseat incumbent Algie Howell; his father, Lionell Spruill, Sr., has been supporting Moran, and I don't know if there is any synergy there).  Then there is the 69th, in Richmond and Chesterfield County (Frank Hall's seat).  I don't know enough about this race to have a sense of how it is going to shape up -- it is a district that is about 10% African-American, with one white candidate, Betsy Carr, and two African-American candidates, Carlos Brown and Antione Green.  African-American voters have been breaking for McAuliffe over Deeds by 41% to 27% (24% for Moran), while white voters break for McAuliffe with 37% to Deeds' 28% and Moran's 24%.  There is not enough data to tell, so this is just a rough guess -- my bet is that Deeds and McAuliffe would run neck-and-neck, and Deeds may actually lead, among white voters in Richmond and Chesterfield.

As for overall turnout, in 2005, the Lieutenant Governor primary drew 115,000 voters.  In 2008, the Presidential primary drew 986,000 voters.  In 2006, the Webb-Miller primary drew 155,000 voters.  In 2001, primaries for LG and AG drew 163,000 voters.  I'd bet on 200,000 voters this time.  If that's where we end up, conventional wisdom is that McAuliffe wins.  (Not sure that I agree, but who knows?)  


I am skeptical of African-American figures in Survey USA
I have a hard time believing that Deeds would actually get over 1/4 of that demographic in a 3-way race.  Then again, RT2K for Daily Kos has him getting only 2%, which seems more than a bit low.  

As much as I would like Creigh to win, when I look at crosstabs, field organization, visibility in NoVa, and consider how large the turnout may be -  I think over 200,000 -  I have a hard time seeing him winning.  There are no more debates.  Polls looked at individually or collectively show a clear pattern of strong movement towards McAuliffe, as one can see here.  I am skeptical that it is within the power of the other two candidates to do any action that would stop that trend, especially given McAuliffe's ability to dominate the airwaves, and his superior field organization.

This is my world and welcome to it


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