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Archive for August 3rd, 2011

New poll provides first look at upcoming GOP primaries

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It may not tell us too much. One of the votes won’t happen for 10 months, the other is almost two years away, but 2012 and 2013 could be extremely competitive in the Virginia Republican world, and even though the elections are far away we are getting our first sense of the mood of the Grand Old Party.

Public Policy Polling, a respected automated polling firm out of North Carolina, conducted the poll of republican primary voters and put statistics behind most observers conventional wisdom. The 1st take away: the Senate GOP primary is not very competitive, and the 2nd point: if Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli wants to run for governor, there is little to stop him.

First the senate primary, which is first on the docket according to the calendar. The results are stark and provide little hope to the potential challengers to front-runner George Allen. Here are the numbers:

George Allen: 68%

Jamie Radtke: 8%

Tim Donner: 2%

E.W. Jackson: 2%

David McCormick: 0%

Undecided: 22%

Even if all the challengers joined forces and brought the undecideds with them, they would still fall short of even making Allen sweat. It is early, but I have to imagine this group was hoping for something a bit more encouraging.

The race for governor is not until 2013, but the whispers about the potential Cuccinelli vs. Bolling showdown began not long after both posted convincing wins on election night 2009. Cuccinelli has effectively used his AG bully pulpit to endear himself to the very primary voters that decide who goes on to the general election. Bolling hasn’t hurt himself and has certainly made the most of his position as the Commonwealth’s “Chief Job’s Czar” at a time when jobs and the economy are the top issue.

This poll, however, shows that Cuccinelli’s crusades against the Obama Administration and on behalf of other conservative causes, have served him well.

Here are the numbers:

Cuccinelli: 45%

Bolling: 21%

Undecided: 34%

Unlike the senate poll, the pool of undecideds is significant here, and if you look at beyond the numbers both Cuccinelli and Bolling are very much liked by republican voters. It is not that republicans don’t like Bill Bolling, they just happen to like Ken Cuccinelli a lot more.

Further proof that when the dust settles on the 2012 race, Cuccinelli will more than likely be in the driver’s seat. If he wants a crack at the Executive Mansion, he will get that chance. The question is.. will he want it or is he interested in something else?

The full breakdown of the PPP poll, which includes a lot of interesting data on favorability ratings and Virginia’s view of the GOP presidential field can be found here.