Quinnipiac: McAuliffe +6, PPP: McAuliffe +7

What should be the final polls of the 2013 election are now out and both show a race that still favors the Democrats. PPP Polls final batch of numbers for the statewide races and finds Terry McAuliffe in front of Ken Cuccinelli by seven points, while Quinnipiac puts the race a tad closer, with McAuliffe up by six. PPP shows Libertarian Robert Sarvis flirting with Russ Potts territory, clocking in with just four percent support. Quinnipiac has Sarvis at eight percent.

So in PPP’s view, what is driving its figures? Anger:

Both Candidates are deeply unpopular with Cuccinelli post a 39/52 favorability rating, and McAuliffe’s coming in at 36/52. But among voters who dislike both candidates – and they account for 15 % of the electorate – McAuliffe leads Cuccinelli 61/16. Those voters who don’t like either major party standard bearer are responsibly for McAuliffe’s entire lead in this poll.

And that, folks, is why McAuliffe ought to be pacing the floors in a sleepless sweat. That kind of negativity is very hard to sustain. It is fluid, too, and those angry voters could just as easily decide to abandon McAuliffe on a whim. PPP has McAuliffe’s negatives just as high as Cuccinelli’s — that’s new, too. Add that to the mix and you understand why The Macker brought in every marquee Democrat he could this past week and weekend. He needs them a lot more than they need him.

The partisan split for this poll is 37D/34R/29I with a 3.3 percent margin of error.

Quinnipiac doesn’t find the same level of general disgust. But it does offer some hard perspective:

“To make a comeback in the final hours Cuccinelli will need to take virtually all the undecided; peel off a few percent from Sarvis and hope that his turnout operation is superior to that of McAuliffe. Obviously that is a longshot formula for victory. The good news for Cuccinelli is that his supporters seem more enthusiastic about their guy than are the McAuliffe backers, but there just doesn’t seem to be enough of them to get Cuccinelli over the top.”

Longshots are better than no shots (just ask Creigh Deeds about the latter). But back to that enthusiasm idea. Quinnipiac’s take goes like this:

Cuccinelli wins the enthusiasm race among Virginia likely voters: 54 percent of his backers strongly favor him, compared to 39 percent of McAuliffe supporters and 14 percent of Sarvis backers. Among Sarvis supporters, 74 percent say they back the Libertarian because they dislike the other candidates.

This reflects the data from last week’s Washington Post poll that found nearly two-thirds of McAuliffe’s supporters weren’t voting for him. They were voting against Ken Cuccinelli. To call this an unsteady base is being generous. It’s volatile.

Quinnipiac’s demographics have changed again from last week. This poll has a 27R/33D/33I split, with a 2.5 percent margin of error.