Saturday, September 14, 2013

Virginia Gubernatorial Race:
McAuliffe (D) vs. Cuccinelli (R)

There was a recent article in The Washington Post by Ben Shapiro discussing the Virginia gubernatorial race. Several pundits were asked their opinion of the race. They quote one poll - Quinnipiac from last month showing a six point McAuliffe lead - and several pundits saying it leans towards McAuliffe or, in the words of often quoted Charlie Cook, it's a 50-50 race.

Not one poll aggregator is asked how it's going.

I could say that pundits are a lower life form. I could call them some scatological name or some rude word that describes a male or female sex organ.

But seriously, if you didn't get the memo from 2012, there is no lower life form than pundit. Pond scum should write strongly worded letters to the editor whenever they are compared to pundits.

Here's what the polls have said with remarkable consistency since early May. McAuliffe has a very big lead.  A Washington Post poll said Cucinelli had a lead on May 2, but since a week after that on May 9, only a mid-July Roanoke poll gave him the lead. Within days of that report, PPP and Quinnipiac both gave McAuliffe a substantial lead.

For those who have prejudices against some polls as being "liberal leaning", consider Rasmussen polls, who erred substantially towards Romney in the 2012 election cycle. In early June, they read a 3% lead for McAuliffe. In early September, they said it was a 7% lead for the Democrat. In my Confidence of Victory system, that 7% lead means McAuliffe's is about 140 to 1 favorite to win if the election were held when the poll was taken.

And now for my personal provisos. Nate Silver thinks he can give a percentage for what that number means today given the election happens November 5.

I make no such claims and I never will.

Here's the situation. Right now, it looks like a gimme for McAuliffe, but there are seven and a half weeks to go. What no one can predict, neither the hard working aggregators or the lazy arrogant overpaid and over-quoted pundits, is what will move the needle in that period. As of right now, what Cuccinelli is an outright stunner, something along the lines of Anthony Weiner's penis pics or Mitt Romney's comments about the lazy scum-sucking 47% of the population.

Heck, maybe he can even get McAuliffe to admit he doesn't like the Soggy Bottom Boys. But anything less than that and he has a concession speech to write, the sooner the better.

More reports when there is more information.

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