Several days ago, I wrote a piece highlighting the fact that after weeks of silence a new poll came out in the Virginia U.S. Senate race.
Some Republicans spoke against the poll. For example, one doubted the result given that it was conducted over the course of an entire week. I think that is a reasonable concern.
However, now Roanoke College has released a poll on the election conducted from October 20th to 25th. Perhaps surprisingly, perhaps not, these results show an even bigger gap between the Democratic and Republican candidates. When including those leaning toward a candidate, Democrat Mark Warner clocks in at 47%, Republican Ed Gillespie at 35%, and Libertarian Robert Sarvis at 4%. However, the poll also shows that a staggering 15% of the electorate are undecided or are for someone else. The margin of error is listed at 3.6%.
Compared to the CBS poll from a few days ago, Warner sheds 2%, Gillespie loses 4%, Sarvis picks up 2%, and the number of undecideds jumps 4%.
As with every poll, the race is not predicted to be particularly close. The narrowest margin between the Republican and Democratic candidate was 9% in the Quinnipac poll of mid September. Since then, the two have fluctuated between 10 to 12%. Unless something earth-shattering happens in the next day or two, Virginia will be a safe Democratic hold.
To me, the most curious aspect is still the large number of undecided voters. What accounts for this situation? Have the candidates failed to bring their message to the people of Virginia? Is voter apathy high? Is there a large segment of the population who aren’t happy with any of their choices? After all, the Roanoke poll says “Likely voters are not enamored of either political party. Many of them hold unfavorable views of both the Democrats (47% unfavorable, 33% favorable) and the Republicans (46% unfavorable, 28% favorable).”