Even the Unskewed Polls Guy Thinks Ken Cuccinelli Might Be Losing in Virginia

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 6 2013 4:19 PM

Even the Unskewed Polls Guy Thinks Ken Cuccinelli Might Be Losing in Virginia

Ken Cuccinelli's campaign isn't very fond of polling. It's been two months since the Republican candidate for governor of Virginia led Terry McAuliffe, his Democratic opponent, in a race most notable for the lack of voter enthusiasm for either of 'em. In the RealClearPolitics average of polls, McAuliffe leads by 7.7 points, boosted by good surveys from Quinnipiac and Public Policy Polling. By this point in 2009, Republican Bob McDonnell was just about that far ahead of Democrat Creigh Deeds. It adds up, possibly, to Cuccinelli becoming the first candidate in 40 years to lose the Virginia gubernatorial race while the other party's candidate holds the presidency.

The Cuccinelli response: Just pretend the polls aren't real. On August 29, the campaign sent reporters a jokey email from "RRR" polling, a play on PPP, the goof being that the faux pollster was cluelessly biased. "Data shows that Cuccinelli is loved by everyone and disliked by no one," wrote campaign adviser Chris LaCivita. " However, the same cannot be said of Terry McAuliffe, as even Democrats don’t like him. The poll consisted of 45 percent Republicans and 20 percent Democrats. The remainder is independents, and most of them don’t like Terry either."

Today, Rasmussen Reports -- which typically offers cheery news for Republicans -- issued new numbers on the race. In three months, McAuliffe's lead had grown from 3 to 7 points. I asked LaCivita for a response, but hearing nothing I went to a Virginia voter with some expertise in these matters. Yes: I asked Dean Chambers, founder of the now-defunct UnskewedPolls.com, whether Virginia polls were skewed against Cuccinelli.

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His answer wasn't definitive.

Real Clear Politics has McAuliffe up by 7.7 percent in their average and I haven't analyzed those polls and looked at their sampling or their modeling of the expected electorate to know what they are based on, or if they are flawed. However, if they are accurate, then I seriously question the wisdom of voters who are making that choice if they are. The race couldn't be a more clear choice, between someone who has served excellently as the state's attorney general, who is a true hero of freedom who consistently stands up for freedom and was the first state attorney general to challenge ObamaCare before the Supreme Court, and a candidate who is a scam artist's scam artist. Terry McAuliffe is three orders of magnitude below a corrupt used car salesman, he promised millions of jobs to the people of Tunica, Mississippi via the GreenTech car project, and the few hired have been laid off, and now it appears the whole project is being out-sourced to China where he appears to be building a huge car factory there. He promised jobs in Franklin, VA via the Franklin Pellets project, and not a single pellet nor a single job was ever created there. Just empty promises and millions raised and apparently spent, and no jobs. If the liberal media would report the truth about Terry McAuliffe, and his past connections to to the Clintons, and Global Crossing and the rest of the sleazy activities he's been involved in, he wouldn't even be a candidate in this race let alone ahead in any polls. This candidate is so corrupt and sleazy he should have been scandalized out of the race by the media.

But Chambers leaves open the possibility that the polls are right -- a big challenge for RRR going forward.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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