Some good news for Republicans in the latest Hampton University poll. Trump’s favorable ratings hold steady in the mid-40s, right about where Rasmussen and other GOP-leaning pollsters have been putting Trump’s numbers nationwide.
So where do things stand? Hampton’s polling methodology is rather odd here… suggesting that Perriello leads Northam… 22 to 16. Which is one were extrapolate those numbers to an actual primary season outcome? 57% to Perriello to Northam’s 43%.
Anyone buying that?
Here’s the flip side to that story. Gillespie’s numbers reflect a commanding double digit lead of 25% of the 741 polled vs. Wagner’s 9% and Stewart’s 8%. By extrapolation (and that’s dangerous), that means we are heading for a bone-crushing Gillespie win of 65% to Wagner’s 21% and Stewart’s 19% — roughly analogous to George Allen’s 2012 romp against his challengers for the U.S. Senate nomination.
So are these numbers nonsense? Hard to tell, though one has to imagine what the margin of error must be as you whittle the numbers away from the 741 sample.
Here’s where things get really interesting. Let’s assume that we were running in a French presidential election model. Who would be our top two candidates?
Start adding those numbers up… Gillespie 51, Perriello 47?
Now maybe that explains why Trump’s numbers in this particular poll are at 43% — the sample is tilted ever so slightly to reflect Republican turnout (i.e. the poll evenly asked Republicans and Democrats, which means the turnout model would be R+1 or D+1 — a disaster for Democrats if true).
National polls have the generic congressional ballot at D+6.5 right now… and if you strip away the PPP poll, we’re a lot closer to a D+3 — a lot different than what you might think the national climate is today if you watch CNN and MSNBC.
That also means that Gillespie will walk into a general election within the margin of error against either Perriello or Northam. Better still, if Northam? We are potentially looking at a tied race… because the turnout models mean everything as you’re watching these polls come down.
Quite frankly, the real test for the Republican Party in Virginia? Whether or not Corey Stewart’s support for the nominee is accepted or rejected in toto. It is not going to be enough for Gillespie to win; Stewart must be beaten.
The test for the Democrats will be whether or not they can heal after a bruising primary season that pushed both nominees so far to the left as to be positively unelectable… in Massachusetts (forget Virginia).