Christopher Newport University has released the results of their February poll on the Senate race against Democrat incumbent Tim Kaine. While the Democrats should be able to spin the results into a decent call for fundraising, the numbers are typical of a poll for February and nothing to worry about.
Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart leads Republicans in favorability, followed by former Lieutenant Governor nominee E.W. Jackson, and then Delegate Nick Freitas in third. All their numbers are low. In potential one-on-one match ups with Senator Kaine all three candidates are behind with the same base number, which indicates that the Republican Party base will have no problem with any of these three candidates. That is good news as we will have to unite behind the nominee in order to compete against a well-financed and well-known incumbent.
Republicans are usually quick to dismiss polls we don’t like by simply looking at only one segment: Party ID. In this poll, 27% of respondents identified as Republican, 32% said they were Democrats, and 38% said Independent. That’s not as terrible as it may sound. Yes, it is easy to just shout out that there are way more Republicans in Virginia, and there are, but hang on a second and keep in mind that Republicans haven’t won statewide office in a while. A better indicator of generic voting tendencies is ideology. In this poll, “Strong Conservative” polled at 9%, “Strong liberal” was 8%, “Conservative” received 22%, “liberal” was at 10%, and “moderate leaning” for both “conservative” and “liberal” received nearly the same with 22% and 23%, respectively. That’s a fair breakdown of Virginia.
The biggest takeaways are Corey Stewart is the front-runner for the Republican nomination, the Republican Party will be able to unite behind the nominee, and Tim Kaine is a weak candidate who will need to spend a ton of money to hang on to his seat. These are not surprises, it’s too early to really know anything for sure, and there’s a lot of work to be done.
Full results of the CNU poll are linked here.