McDonnell by 14
Bolling by 13
Cuccinelli By 11
Yet Public Policy Polling has Deeds “closing” and down by 5.
What’s Going On?
In part, it’s the quirkiness of doing polls on the cheap these days.
But most of the explanation can be found in the diametrically conflicting models of the likely electorate found inside the poll numbers.
Public Policy Polling has an implicit turnout model heavily tilted toward the Democrats- in their survey, 37% of the elctorate is made up of Democrats and only 29% is Republican. 34% is Independent. It looks, I think, a lot like the presidential electorate last year.
Survey USA has a likely voter model that is tilted in the exact opposite direction. 37% is Republican, 32% Democratic and 29% Independent.
Here’s the difficulty.
In a gubernatorial election, less than 50% of registered voters will actually show up.
The fundamental issue for pollsters, then, is to determine who among this “less than 50%” is really going to vote.
You can imagine how important the issue is for candidates.
So here we are.
Two entirely different electorates.
The bad news for Democrats is not simply that they’re behind in both.
But that they’re even trailing in one that has turnout tilting heavily toward the D’s.
There’s over a month left.
And both could be off-base.
Up until SurveyUSA, Deeds supporters felt that the polls were trending in the right direction.
Democrats hope that the poll is an outlier.
GOP strategists think it may be a momentum killer.