Now THIS is interesting:
McAuliffe gets 40 percent of registered voters to 39 percent for Cuccinelli in a head-to-head matchup, a result relatively unchanged from a November Quinnipiac survey that gave McAuliffe a narrow 4-point lead. A trial heat in the new poll including Bolling gives him 13 percent and McAuliffe and Cuccinelli 34 percent apiece.
. . .
Brown noted that in a three-way matchup, Bolling appears to be taking support away from both McAuliffe and Cuccinelli. In the two-way race, Cuccinelli and McAuliffe both lead among their own party’s voters by massive margins, and Cuccinelli has a slim lead with independents.
Three take-aways here. First, Ken Cuccinelli has closed the gap with Terry McAuliffe among registered voters from 4-points to 1-point in the last two months. Second, Bill Bolling running as an independent would essentially be irrelevant, pulling roughly equal numbers of voters from each side. Finally, Cuccinelli holds a small edge among independents.
The dynamics are there for a Cuccinelli victory just as there were for Bob McDonnell’s win 4 years ago — he just needs to frame the race correctly early on as I wrote in November:
1.) Define McAuliffe the same way Dems defined Mitt Romney. McAuliffe is a super-rich guy who made his money via a very questionable deal with Global Crossing – a company that went belly-up shortly after McAuliffe cashed out. As even Not Larry Sabato put it on Facebook last night, McAuliffe has said he moved thousands of jobs out of Virginia to Mississippi because VA wouldn’t give him a big enough corporate tax break. Turnabout is fairplay, Terry, and payback is a bitch.
2.) Paint this choice for voters:
Ken Cuccinelli = Bob McDonnell’s VA. If you approve of the direction Virginia is going, then Cooch is your man as he’s cut from the same cloth as McDonnell.
Terry McAuliffe = High tax, crime-ridden Maryland.
Most Virginia voters, especially those in NOVA, will immediately get the contrast. One can assume that a majority of NOVA residents could have chosen to live in MD over VA, but did not for some reason, whether it be taxes, the availability of jobs or general quality of life. Basically, it could be a “Don’t Maryland Virginia” theme.