Monday, January 11, 2010

Ken Boyd Releases Poll! Impressive Results!

Via e-mail from Albemarle Supervisor Ken Boyd's mailing list. I must be a "Boyd insider" for using that notorious tool of "e-mail!"

The survey question was very straight-forward:

Hello, this is _______________ calling with a brief survey about how you feel about Congress. The first question is, if you could replace Democratic Congressman Tom Perriello today with a Republican of your choice, would you elect Robert Hurt, Feda Morton, Jim McKelvey, Michael McPadden, Laurence Verga, Ken Boyd or Ron Ferrin?

The results are very clear:

-If the primary were held today and the turnout was low, I would win with 21% to only 10% for Senator Robert Hurt and 4% or less for Feda Morton and the other candidates.

-If the primary were held today and the turnout was very high, Senator Hurt would win with 23% of the vote with me coming in second place at 10%.

-However, if the turnout were high but voters knew that Senator Hurt had voted for the largest tax increase in Virginia's history, while I had led the fight to cut almost $30 million from the Albemarle County budget, then I win with 43% of the vote to only 27% of the vote even in a high turnout race.

Candidate (alphabetical) Low Turnout High Turnout High Turnout after voters learned of Hurt's pro-tax vote
Boyd 21% 10% 43%
Ferrin Less than 1% Less than 1% Less than 1%
Hurt 10% 23% 27%
Morton 4% 2% 2%
McKelvey 1.4% 1.5% 1%
McPadden 1% Less than 1% 1%
Verga 1.4% Less than 1% 1%
Undecided 62% 63% 24%
Completed Surveys- Candidate names were rotated 500 definate primary voters including some who attend tea parties, conventions, etc. 2,500 voters who vote in at least 1 of 3 primaries 2,500 voters after being informed of Hurt's pro-tax vote and Boyd's budget cuts

In short, Senator Hurt's high Name ID will enable him to win this nomination if lots of people come out to vote in the primary without learning that he voted for the largest tax increase in Virginia's history, while I led the fight to cut almost $30 million from our county budget.

I have my questions about the poll's methodology, but I'm not too surprised by its conclusion. Ken Boyd comes from one of the largest population centers in the district and probably has a decent following in the Republican establishment in Albemarle and the other suburbs of Charlottesville. Robert Hurt has strong name ID compared to the unelected challengers but probably no more than 30%. And those that know his past are certain to have doubts about supporting him. Ken Boyd is a serious challenger in this race. Here's more information on the impressive team Boyd is putting together to challenge Robert Hurt in the primary.

When I started the campaign I knew we would be outspent dramatically, so I put together a team that had won numerous races in Virginia and throughout the South while being outspent dramatically in similar situations. They were part of the effort to take over the Virginia legislature in the 1990s, beating two 20-year Virginia State Senate incumbents, and winning campaigns for candidates like Peter Way and Bob Marshall with very little money.

In 2006, they worked with two candidates with the same kind of money disadvantage we will have this year, winning two Republican primaries with new candidates who were outspent $695,841 to $205,661 and $896,912 to $205,817 respectively. In 2007, they ran the surprise upset win for Brenda Pogge, who won the GOP nomination in Williamsburg despite being outspent by more than 2-to-1, then went on to win the general election in a year that most big money Republicans were going down to defeat. At the same time, five GOP senators won despite being outspent by Democratic opponents - Richard Stuart, Jill Holtzman Vogel, Emmett Hanger, Ralph Smith and Ken Cuccinelli - even while big spending Republicans were losing everywhere.

Verga's profile should increase once he starts spending money. We'll continue to watch the other challengers to see if they have a chance in the Fightin' Fifth!


  1. South of Charlottesville, I would hardly say that Boyd is a "serious challenger". Most of the folks farther south either have not heard of him, or see him as a Albemarle moderate. All of the candidates have regional followings, but the truth is, not one has proved him or herself to be a strong contender against Robert Hurt, which is troubling. Let's hope a clear option manifests itself soon.

  2. Dana, I think you make a good point about the difficulties facing not just Boyd but almost all candidates south of Charlottesville. It's been something that I have been meaning to post about.

    When you throw in the suburbs, the metropolitan Charlottesville area is big and shouldn't be ignored. Ignoring it is what contributed to Goode's defeat. I want to look at past elections more to figure out if any area pulls its weight more than the others. Meaning, are some areas like wealthy suburban Albemarle overrepresented in low-turnout elections? Could be, I want to check.

  3. I await your post! :) Do you think it's a possibility that Albemarle could be redistricted out any time soon though? It just hardly seems "fair" that metropolitan areas like Charlottesville make electoral decisions for a district that is geographically (mostly) rural and conservative.

  4. A lot of the district lines don't seem fair! There is a special election today in Fairfax for a State Senate seat that could have some big impacts on redistricting. Stay tuned!

  5. hello. my conclusion about this poll is that Sen. Hurt wins if he can turn out his voters. doesn't that seem obvious?