A new poll from Survey USA shows that despite the huge swing in public opinion against President Obama and the Democrat agenda one Virginia Democrat is riding a wave of Democrat enthusiasm that may sweep him back into office.
I am too.
I had decided to wait on blogging about the recent Survey USA poll of the Virginia 5th until they also released their poll of the Virginia 9th. Two polls are better than one! I'm glad I waited. The results of the VA09 poll seem so messed up it's undercut my initial enthusiasm for the VA05 results.
Look at the numbers behind the poll showing Rick Boucher up 52% to 39% over Morgan Griffith. Survey USA is projecting that 33% of voters will be Democrats, 35% will be Republicans, and 29% Independent. Back in 2006 (Boucher was unopposed in 2008) Survey USA had a poll with 38% Democrats, 35% Republicans, and 25% Independents. This is a shift between the Democrats and Republicans of only five points, despite a huge wave nationally and in Virginia (Governor Bob McDonnell!)
Something isn't right.
This made me curious about VA-05. Here's 2010. Here's 2006. The two are virtually identical!
Now I'd usually say that this should mean that Perriello is even MORE behind Hurt, but I noticed some other funky numbers. I expect black voters to be coming out less than in 2008, but Survey USA is assuming they'll be even smaller as a group than in 2006!
And what about 2008? I think that a lot fewer Democrats will come out in 2010 without Obama around, but Survey USA is predicting a 17 point swing in favor of the Republicans if you look at their 2008 poll versus their 2010 poll! I expect a swing, but that seems absurd!
Something doesn't add up.
I've said before that we can make a few assumptions based on the knowledge that both Hurt and Perriello have polled. If Hurt was ahead by this much in his poll he would have released the data. If he was up by this much he wouldn't be treating Jeff Clark like a jerk and keeping him out of the debate. He'd be working hard but magnanimous in victory.
So I don't think Hurt's own polling agrees with Survey USA.
The fact that Hurt's campaign before this poll was questioning the validity of Survey USA also makes me concerned. I think Survey USA showed some strength in 2009 in polling the Governor's race, but it's a lot easier to approach an entire state with major metropolitan areas that try to pick up on a large sprawling House district with a lot of different communities. That's true of both VA09 and VA05.
Right now, Survey USA is trying to tell us that VA09 will be MORE DEMOCRAT than VA05. Republicans outnumber Democrats in VA09 by two points (35% to 33%). They are ahead of Democrats in VA05 by FIFTEEN POINTS (43% to 27%). Everyone knows that VA09 is the more Republican district. This just seems utterly absurd. I think Survey USA got it wrong in VA09, in favor of Boucher. I think they got it wrong in VA05, in favor of Hurt. Until I see more convincing data I'm going to continue to treat this race as a dead heat.