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New poll shows Moran on top in Democratic Primary

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Ryan Nobles – bio | email

Conventional wisdom among many political insiders is that former DNC chair Terry McAuliffe is the candidate to beat in the race for the Democratic primary. In fact some lefty bloggers were saying not to long ago that the Macker had the chance to run away with the primary, leaving veteran lawmakers Brian Moran and Creigh Deeds in the dust.

That scenario would not be a surprise. McAuliffe has a decided fund raising advantage, a full time paid staff approaching 100 and has already spent close to $500,000 in paid media. (We have talked before about McAuliffe’s early advertising push being more than just a vanity buy.) But despite these clear advantages, a new poll out shows this race is far from over and it actually shows McAuliffe trailing. 

According to the survey conducted by Public Policy Polling, Moran’s lead is not substantial, only 4 points. But that 4 points is just enough for him to get beyond the margin of error. Here is the breakdown:

Democratic Primary
Brian Moran: 22%
Terry McAuliffe: 18%
Creigh Deeds: 15%
Undecided: 45%

More on the this poll means after the jump

While the Moran camp should be happy with these numbers (and they are), it’s not quite yet the time to start popping champagne corks. Perhaps the most important number you see above is the undecided pool. Close to half of those polled said they had no idea who they were voting for yet. A large pool of undecideds is a good thing for the candidate with the most resources. 

The poll also weighs the primary race for Lt. Governor and that shows an edge to former finance secretary Jody Wagner. She is far ahead of her three other challengers who each only brought in 4% to her 21%. That race also has a large pool of undecided voters, with 67% saying they haven’t made up their mind. 

You can see the complete breakdown of the poll (including some interesting favorable/unfavorable numbers)  here.


Written by Ryan Nobles

April 1, 2009 at 2:09 pm

One Response

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  1. This poll shows that this race is a toss-up, and pretty darn close to dead even. Of course Moran will use it as a small “victory” with the donors and he certainly has the right to do so. I hope that the candidates, specifically Creigh Deeds, will more clearly illustrate why they are running and what they will do as governor. Many of the issues aren’t sexy and this off year election it will be hard to motivate a ton of people to get to the polls. That’s why Deeds, in particular, needs to state his case more starkly. The economy is going to be number 1, and there is little real disenssion among the Democratic candidates about what they would do to support private industry and create a business-friendly environment in Virginia. But there is another issue that is really the most important this year: non-partisan redistricting. Deeds is the man for the job because he would be the only governor — despite what others will say — that will support non-partisan redistricting in 2011. He has worked tirelessly for that in the Senate and believes in it fervently. This will affect Virginia’s democracy long-term more so than any other issue and people need to pay attention to it. While putting the economy front and center, I hope Deeds can convey the importance of non-partisan redistricting and use it — and a clear economic plan — to drive voters to the polls.


    April 1, 2009 at 6:26 pm

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