Former House Speaker Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) is now the official frontrunner in the Virginia GOP gubernatorial context — and not by small margins.
If the election were a primary, Cox would cruise to a first place win with 39% of the vote, followed up by Pete Snyder at 31%, Glenn Youngkin at 14%, and Chase with a very modest 10%.
However, if the secret of a convention ballot is to be everyone’s #2 choice? Cox has the highest number of #2 votes as well, with Cox winning 25% of the vote, Youngkin at a close 24%, and Snyder at 22%.
Chase — with 51% of all voters ranking her dead last.
Governor: Cox Leads, Snyder Close; Youngkin Stuck In 3rd Place
The surprising cratering of State Senator Amanda Chase (I-Chesterfield) can be attributed to a rather dry month in terms of press attention and the cancellation of her Facebook page.
Surprisingly, Chase voters have not gone to the “Big Three” in terms of support, but are starting to pay attention to an outsider — one Sergio de la Pena — whose 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place support are staggeringly high for a relative unknown.
Of course, Cox may be the beneficiary of the clarification process (why say negative campaigning?) between Snyder and Youngkin:
One will notice immediately that both Snyder and Youngkin are still viewed favorably or neutral by a wide swath of the Republican electorate, whereas Cox — having sat out the clarification process — continues to chug right along.
So the greater question remains. Is this a three way race? Not quite…
Glenn Youngkin continues to introduce himself to Virginia conservatives. Yet as one can see, Youngkin’s campaign has put their candidate into a tight spot. There’s not enough time to introduce him to the conventioneers and grow the blue out of the green, but in order to clarify himself from his closest competitor — Snyder — he has to run negative and hit hard.
This puts Snyder in a difficult position, firing back against Youngkin’s attacks while allowing Cox to play the role of happy warrior — a role Snyder loves to play and is closer to his DNA.
Yet the implosion of Chase’s ill-managed campaign remains remarkable at this rate, especially as de la Pena continues to introduce himself to the wider electorate. Surely Snyder and Cox are soaking in some of the Chase support with their pro-Trump messaging on immigration, but de la Pena is cautiously and deterministically laying down cement to be the alternative.
Youngkin’s immediate problem at the moment is that he is has few people backing as their first choice, and the negative campaigning is making his second choice positioning much more untenable. Youngkin’s ability to position himself as a third choice — 23% — is what keeps him afloat. Yet Youngkin remains the third choice of those who are making Cox or Snyder their #1 or #2.
Meanwhile, Snyder is right behind Cox in terms of his first and second choice votes — making this more of a two-man race than a three or four man race.
Lieutenant Governor: Hugo Edges Out Davis; Sears Surging Past Rivals
The race is between former Delegate Tim Hugo (R-Fairfax) and Delegate Glenn Davis (R-Virginia Beach) — but former Delegate Winsome Sears (R-Norfolk) is literally right there behind them waiting to make her introductions.
In this race, Hugo and Davis are swap out #1 and #2 choices. Sears makes an excellent showing as the #2 choice very closely behind many Hugo and Davis supporters, but shines as the #3 pick.
The short answer here? Don’t count Winsome out.
Attorney General: Miyares Leads Comfortably at 53%
With 53% of the vote, Delegate Jason Miyares (R-Virginia Beach) would win in either a convention or primary format with a majority of the vote.
Surprisingly enough, the AG field has several very good and very solid candidates — all of whom are qualified. Yet Miyares has a conservative pedigree that is well known to Virginia Republicans, and as the established frontrunner it will be tough if not difficult to make the case as to why Miyares should not carry the battle standards forward.
Top Issues: Fiscal Restraint, 1A, 2A
This one isn’t even close.
Of all the issues polled, fiscal restraint is the top issue for most Virginia Republicans, followed closely by First Amendment concerns about religious liberty and cancel culture, and next by Second Amendment concerns.
Social conservative concerns (49%) polled just behind reopening the schools (51%) as a core concern.