VCU Wilder: McAuliffe by 9 as Sears, Miyares Are Within Striking Distance

McAuliffe leads 43-34 among registered voters; Generic Ballot at D+4

Virginia Commonwealth University is out with a new poll showing former Democratic governor Terry McAuliffe with a 9-point lead among registered voters against Republican challenger Glenn Youngkin at 43-34. The poll was conducted among 811 respondents between September 7-15th.

Former Virginia Governor Doug Wilder (D) — who has been highly critical of the McAuliffe campaign in oblique terms — stated the facts pretty plainly:

Our recent poll relative to the governor’s race and statewide elections showed interesting results,” said Gov. L. Douglas Wilder. “Neither McAuliffe nor Youngkin had 50% support. The increase in the undecided and those unable to commit for either is noteworthy. The poll was taken prior to any debates. How the candidates show the people what they propose dealing with the pandemic and its effects are obvious concerns. The narrowing of the lead by the Democratic candidates in the Lt. Governor and Attorney General races and increased “undecided“ shows “the jury” may be out a while longer.

Here is where things get a bit more interesting.

In the lieutenant governor’s race, former Republican Delegate Winsome Sears (R-Norfolk) has closed the gap to within the margin of error against Delegate Hala Ayala (D-Prince William) to just three points at 33-30.

Meanwhile, Delegate Jason Miyares (R-Virginia Beach) is hammering away at name ID, with undecideds breaking his way a full five points in just one month against incumbent Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring (D-Blackface) with the race presently standing at 39-33.

Among registered voters.

Notice Anything. . . Amiss?

Now if we bump these numbers up to likely voters — the only number that actually matters — we are probably going to see a 3-4 point nudge for each candidate. Meaning that Sears and Miyares are not just within striking distance but potentially leading against their rivals, while Youngkin continues to close the distance against McAuliffe one step at a time.

What is more interesting to me is the generic ballot question for the House of Delegates, where the Democrats are only up by 4 points. That might sound huge to outsiders, but along the margins in Republican-drawn seats? No small wonder why House Republican leadership is looking at and investing in 12 separate seats.

The national generic ballot? D+1.3 — and to put this in some perspective, the generic ballot in 2014 where Republican Ed Gillespie lost to Democrat Mark Warner by the slimmest of margins? The generic ballot was projected by the RCP aggregate polls to be R+2.4 — and ended up being R+5.7.

In 2020? The RCP aggregate was D+6.8 and ended up being D+3.1.

Now you don’t have to be Karl Rove to figure out that if the aggregate generic balloting polls over the last 10 years have been consistently 3-points too far left that we might be in R+2 territory in the wake of Afghanistan. With Rassmussen out with a poll saying that Biden’s disapproval ratings are at 56%caveat lector — the fact of the matter is that we might very well be in McAuliffe/Cuccinelli ‘13 territory.

Which brings us to Princess Blanding.

Here’s a question: Why aren’t we polling Princess Blanding of the Liberation Party? Because when you do include her in the polls — and is there any reason not to include her? — you get some mightily different results.

Will Blanding Be The Sarvis of 2021?

The media isn’t talking up Princess Blanding of the Liberation Party as much as they did Robert Sarvis of the Libertarian Party in 2013.

Gee — wonder why?

Yet VCU didn’t even poll Blanding. When polled, you will discover that Blanding makes a solid impact at anywhere from 2-6% on the progressive left, meaning that McAuliffe’s 2-6 point lead among LVs collapses overnight.

See where I’m going with this?

Now Blanding isn’t precisely flush with cash. Of course, neither was Sarvis. But both Blanding and Sarvis made up in shoe leather what they couldn’t accomplish with five figure contributions.

It isn’t a secret that progressives aren’t sold on “Fast Terry” McAuliffe. Nor are they sold that he is really going to repeal right to work, impose forced unionism or keep his promises to defund the police. What they expect is a corporatist Clinton-style anti-Bernie Democrat whose eyes on the White House and little else.

Let’s not forget after all. The Democrats have their problems too.

Shaun Kenney is the editor of The Republican Standard, former chairman of the Board of Supervisors for Fluvanna County, and a former executive director of the Republican Party of Virginia.