Democrat Lt. Gov. Ralph S. Northam continues to lead Republican Edward W. Gillespie in the Virginia governor’s race with 48 percent compared to 43 percent for Gillespie, according to a Big League-Gravis p0ll poll of 1,788 registered voters conducted Oct. 30 through Nov. 5.
“In the last day of our last poll we saw Gillespie pick up three points, so we wanted to do a new poll to capture what seemed to be a late Gillespie surge that stopped over the weekend,” said Doug Kaplan, the managing partner of Gravis Marketing, the Florida-based firm that executed the poll. The poll carries a 2.3 percent margin of error.
Libertarian Cliff Hydra has the support of 3 percent of the voters with 7 percent undecided, he said. With roundings, the totals exceed 100 percent. Election Day is Nov. 7.
“What is tricky about polling an off-cycle, because the temptation is the use the turnout model from the presidential campaign the year before, but it is not the same,” Kaplan said.
“In Virginia, Republicans have a stronger tradition of showing up to vote, but a Republican has won a statewide election since 2009,” he said. “That year the Republicans were catching the early ramping up of the Tea Party wave and Bob McDonnell won the governor’s race with his ‘Bob’s for Jobs’ slogan–that was a long time ago.”
Kaplan said that among “Very Likely” voters, Northam leads Gillespie with 50 percent to Gillespie’s 45 percent.
Gillespie won a tight primary with the one-time state chairman of the 2016 Trump campaign Corey Stewart, with 44 percent to Stewart’s 43 percent.
A source familiar with the relationship between Stewart and Gillespie, but not authorized to speak to the media, told Big League Politics that Gillespie has refused all of Stewart’s offers to help.
The source said Stewart, who is the chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, repeatedly made himself availble to Gillespie, but the answer was always “no thanks,” if there was a reply at all.
Gillespie wants to win it on his own without owning anyone, which means he is also willing to lose, rather than accept help from the Bannon-Trump wing of the state party, the source said.
“Diehl is completely different,” the source said. “Diehl and Corey always talking and Corey has helped him a lot,” the source said. Massachusetts Republican state Rep. Geoffrey G. Diehl is challenging Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D.-Mass.) in 2018. Diehl was the chairman of Trump’s Bay State campaign.
Stewart is challenging Sen. Timothy M. Kaine (D-Va.) in 2018.
Thirty-nine percent of the respondents were Democrats, 34 percent were Republicans and 27 percent identified as Independent.
Fifty-three percent of respondents said they had an unfavorable opinion of President Donald J. Trump with 36 percent saying they had a favorable opinion.
Thirty-eight percent of respondents said they had a favorable opinion of Democrat Gov. Terence R. McAuliffe with 37 percent saying they had an unfavorable opinion.
In the other races, Democrat Attorney General Mark R. Herring leads Republican John Adams, 47 percent to 42 percent and Republican state Sen. Jill H. Vogel trails Democrat Justin Fairfax, with 41 percent to 46 percent for Fairfax.
The survey was conducted using interactive voice responses and an online panel of cell phones users. The results are weighted to match a proprietary voter turnout model.
Check out the poll’s crosstabs here:
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Big League-Gravis Florida poll: Nelson leads Scott head-to-head 44% to 39% with 17% undecided
In one of the 10 states won by Donald J. Trump in 2016, where a Democratic senator is up for reelection, Florida’s Sen. C. William Nelson II leads Republican Gov. Richard L. Scott with 44 percent of respondents to Scott’s 39 percent and 17 percent were undecided, according to the Big League-Gravis poll of 5,778 registered Florida voters conducted between Dec. 19 through Dec. 24.
“Back around the same point in 2013 in his reelection campaign, we had a poll that had Rick Scott losing to Charlie Crist, 46 percent to 36 percent, but he pulled it out,” said Doug Kaplan, the managing partner of Gravis Marketing, the Florida-based company that executed the poll. The poll carries a 1.3 percent margin of error.
Rep. Charles J. Crist Jr. (D.-Fla.) was then running as a newly former Republican, who Scott succeeded in the governor’s office. In the 2014 general election, Scott beat Crist with 48 percent to Crist’s 47 percent. Scott has not formally announced that he is running for Senate in 2018.
Kaplan said both Nelson and Scott have strong support from their own parties. “Nelson has the support of 78 percent of Democrats and Scott has the support of 74 percent of Republicans, but among Independents, Nelson has the real advantage with 45 percent of them supporting Nelson and 31 percent supporting the governor.”
Because Democratic Senate candidates had such a successful 2012, of the 33 Senate seats up in 2018, the Democrats are defending 24 seats, in addition to the seats held by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I.-Vt.) and Sen. Angus S. King Jr. (I.-Maine), two Independents, who caucus with the Democrats. It is also important to note that not only are there 10 Democratic Senate seats from states won by Trump up in 2018, Maine makes it 11, if you count the state’s 2nd Congressional District won by the New York City developer.
Maine’s two districts award their electoral votes independent of the statewide total–and Trump collected more than 42,000 more votes than W. Mitt Romney garnered in 2012, and he lost the state to Hillary R. Clinton by less than 20,000 votes.
With the Democrats defending so many seats, Florida looks like a prime opportunity to for the GOP to pick up a seat. The Republicans now hold a 51-49 advantage in the Senate and this cycle could be their last chance to reach 60 for another six years, because of their own gains in 2014 and holds 2016.
The Republicans have not had 60 or more seats, since the Senate election in 1908, when the GOP held 61 out of 92 seats. The last time the Democrats held 60 or more seats was in the Senate session that ran from 2009 to 2011, which was a temporary combination of 58 Democrats and two Independents. Under current Senate rules, 60 votes are required to end debate and force a vote on all non-budget-related legislation. This means that a minority of 41 senators can extend debate indefinitely, a parliamentary maneuver called the filibuster.
Among Florida women voters, Nelson has the edge over Scott with 45 percent compared Scott’s 35 percent and 20 percent of women are undecided. Among men, Nelson and Scott are tied at 43 percent with 14 percent of men undecided.
Broken down by ethnicity, Nelson has the support of 57 percent of African-Americans, 42 percent of Hispanics and 42 percent of whites. Scott has the support of 16 percent of African-Americans, 40 percent of Hispanics and 44 percent of whites.
The Hispanic category is tricky in Florida as it includes both the Cubans, who tend to be more conservative and Republican and the Puerto Ricans, who tend to be more liberal and Democratic.
Forty-four percent of Florida Catholics favor Scott and 41 percent favor Nelson, while Scott has the support of 57 percent of Evangelicals and 26 percent of Jewish voters. Nelson is the choice of 62 percent of Jewish voters and 23 percent of Evangelical voters.
Forty-two percent of poll participants said they approve of Scott’s job performance as governor and 36 percent said they disapproved, but asked about how he did during the recent hurricane season, 70 percent approved of Scott’s performance and only 15 percent disapproved.
Pressed to approve or disapprove of Scott’s job dealing with nursing homes during Hurricane Irma, 44 percent approved and 30 disapproved with 25 percent uncertain.
The Senate race in Florida could be an interesting gauge of the president’s political strength going into the 2020 election cycle. Trump spends significant time at his home and club at Mar-a-Largo in Palm Beach, but his other properties in the state include, Trump National Golf Course in Jupiter, Trump International Golf Club in Palm Beach and Trump National Doral in Miami.
Fifty-three percent said they have an unfavorable opinion of the president in the poll and 39 percent said they have a favorable opinion.
The survey was conducted using interactive voice responses and an online panel of cell phone users. The results were weighted to match a proprietary turnout model.
Read the complete poll here:
Big League-Gravis Dec. 19-Dec. 24 Florida poll
Read the poll’s crosstabs here:
Crosstabs for Big League-Gravis Dec. 19-Dec. 24 Florida poll
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