The State Houses – What’s At Stake in 2010

Thirty-nine states will be electing a governor during the 2009-2010 election cycle. Of these, eighteen races will not include an incumbent and four incumbents who will be running were not elected to their current position. The recession and huge budget deficits threaten to undercut the power of incumbency for governors running for reelection.

The Current Line-Up

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Sep
18

PollWatch (VA)- Ras: Virginia A Toss-Up? (UPDATED)

By · Sep, 18 2009

Rasmussen, usually a pollster with a GOP-friendly tilt, provides a surprising survey showing Democrat Creigh Deeds pulling into a statistical dead heat with Republican Bob McDonnell. Deeds trails by two, 48-46%.

If this poll turns out not be an outlier, it marks a significant change in the race, as Deeds trailed in the Rasmussen’s most recent survey (two weeks ago) by nine and in early August by eight.

Virginia Gubernatorial Polling
  17-Sep 1-Sep 11-Aug
McDonnell 48 51 49
Deeds 46 42 41
Other 1 1 2
Not Sure 5 6 7

 The two candidates both sport net positive favorability numbers, but McDonnell’s once stellar +27 has shrunk to +22 while Deeds has seen his inch up from +5 to +8. This could be an indicator that the revelations regarding McDonnell’s master’s thesis have damaged his campaign. Although, it seems the bad headlines for McDonnell may have done more to lift Deed’s positives than to drag down McDonnell’s, as the early August numbers showed the Republican’s net favorability at +23 (52-30%) while the Democrat only sported a +10 (49-39%).

Candidate Favorability (trend from 9/1/09)
  Favorable Unfavorable Not Sure
McDonnell 54 (55) 32 (28) 13 (16)
Deeds 50 (48) 42 (43) 8 (10)

With Deeds outpacing McDonnell in the money race this summer, the national attention coming from both parties, and a political chattering class that wants to frame both the New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial contests as a referendum on the Obama administration’s performence, this race seems far from over.

 UPDATE (9/18/09, 1:00PM): DailyKos/Research 2000 has a new poll from the Old Dominion that indicate the Rasmussen survey may indeed be an outlier, as they measure little change in the contest over the past 6 weeks, with McDonnell maintaining a 50-43 lead.

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Categories : Open Seats, Polls, Virginia

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