Gillespie Tied in Hypothetical Matchup with Northam or Perriello
Republican front-runner for governor, Ed Gillespie, is in a virtual tie with either of his potential Democratic opponents, former Congressman Tom Perriello or Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, according to today’s Wason Center for Public Policy poll from Christopher Newport University.
The survey shows that if the general election were to be held today, 831 respondents prefer Gillespie over Northam, 40% to 39%, and would tie Perriello at 39%. The poll has a margin of error of nearly 4 points.
The poll also shows that Gillespie’s nomination sparring partners, Virginia Beach state Sen. Frank Wagner and Prince William County Supervisors Chair Corey Stewart in November, lose. Yesterday, the Wason Poll showed Gillespie nearly 4:1 over his opponents.
Northam beats Stewart 41% to 33% and state Senator Frank Wagner 40% to 34%. Perriello beats Stewart 40% to 34% and beats Wagner 38% to 35%.
This is obviously good news for Gillespie, but Wason also has tapped into some concern for conservatives in its recent polls.
First, nearly 70% of Virginia want a special prosecutor to look into Russian involvement in the 2016 campaign, which shows a level of anxiety and mistrust in the Republican presidential administration and the GOP Congress to properly investigate the purported foreign interference. Additionally, when looking at a generic General Assembly ballot, voters favored the Democrat over the Republican, 48% to 41%.
Both of these concerns demonstrate that the Republican party does have a reason to pause and get itself together amid a high degree of skepticism among the Virginia electorate.