PPP's new look at next year's race for Governor in Virginia finds that indecision abounds. None of the candidates are particularly well known- Ed Gillespie has the highest name recognition but it's still only 42%, followed by Ralph Northam at 34%, Corey Stewart at 25%, and Rob Wittman at 24%. Hypothetical head to heads between Northam and the Republican hopefuls all find basically tied races- Gillespie has a 37/36 edge over Northam, Wittman and Northam each get 34%, and Northam has a 34/32 edge on Stewart. When it comes to who Republicans want their candidate to be next year, 'not sure' wins with 41%. Among the actual candidates Gillespie is tops with 29% to 16% for Wittman, and 13% for Stewart.
Other notes from Virginia:
-Jim Webb and Jim Gilmore may have been a little over their heads running for President and the Lieutenant Governor's office is open in Virginia next year so we tested them in a hypothetical match up for an office that might be a little bit more realistic for each of them. Webb leads Gilmore 40/30 in the down ballot showdown. 15 years after leaving office as Governor, Gilmore has actually been forgotten by a majority of voters in the state. 53% have no opinion about him one way or another and his favorability comes in at 20/27.
Two other former Virginia elected officials might be better off if voters forgot about them. Eric Cantor has a -24 net favorability rating at 13/37 and Ken Cuccinelli has a -9 net favorability rating at 26/35. Neither of them is particularly well situated to make a political comeback.
-Terry McAuliffe's executive order restoring felon voting rights is proving to be very popular- 65% of voters support it to only 26% who are opposed. It has overwhelming support from both Democrats (85/10) and independents (61/29) and even Republicans (43/45) are pretty evenly divided.
-As we've found everywhere we've polled on it lately there's strong support in Virginia for nonpartisan redistricting- 57% of voters are in a favor of it to only 9% who are opposed. It has bipartisan support with independents (65/7), Democrats (60/8), and Republicans (43/15) all in favor of it.
-Virginia provides yet another data point showing how the Affordable Care Act is not the political liability for Democrats that it once was. 43% of voters in the state support it to 39% who are opposed. Democrats (77%) are more unified in their support of it than Republicans (72%) are in their opposition- that's a much different calculus than we found in the years immediately following its passage.