Virginia

Reason Says "Jump," Virginians Ask "How High?"

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On Friday, Reason's Virginia-registered editors—Radley Balko, Ronald Bailey, and me—announced that we were supporting Jim Webb over Republican George Allen in Virginia's Senate race. SurveyUSA polled voters that day, Saturday and Sunday, and surprise—they find Webb pulling ahead.

The survey shows Webb with 52% of the likely voters, with 44% going to Allen.

In five previous SurveyUSA tracking polls, the race was a virtual tie with Allen slightly ahead.  Other late polls show the race much closer.  A Mason-Dixon poll released over the weekend had Webb ahead by a point, and a Gallup poll released today has Allen up by three.

The SurveyUSA poll also shows 42% support for the Marriage Amendment, but with 22% still uncertain over how they'll vote.  Thirty-six percent say they'll vote against it.

Reasonoids oppose the marriage amendment, too. In a bit of a surprise, it's sinking below the 50 percent mark.

NEXT: The Tribute That Virtue Pays to Hypocrisy

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  1. Reasonoids say “Jump,” and blase commentors say, “which shark?”

  2. Is there anyone on this board who honestly does not know who they are voting for? Are the state races so rife with subtle grey areas that they have to be sifted in the voters minds? So much so that poll numbers shift that noticeably?
    If it’s the day before a highly polarizing election, and you still don’t know who you are voting for, odds are you have a problem.

  3. Already cast my early vote, but I’ve been in the situation where I wasn’t absolutely sure whether to vote for the lesser-evil D/R candidate or for a third party until I made up my mind in the booth. That might be different from not being sure who to choose between two major candidates, but it happens.

  4. I’m a Virginian and I’m not voting for anyone in that confounded race–Allen, Webb, or the Green Party lady. If the Va. LP had managed to dredge a candidate, that’s where my vote would have gone.

    In fact, pretty much the only reason I will vote tomorrow is to help torpedo that silly marriage amendment thingy.

  5. My days of uncertainty about how to vote ended when I started reading H&R.

  6. Well, I skipped a couple of circuit court judges and a school board candidate, lacking any opinion on them. I let my girlfriend’s daughter vote for Agriculture Commissioner, as well. She wisely selected Charles Bronson. Yeah, that’s his real name.

  7. i wasn’t going to vote before i read some of reason’s coverage of webb so i am sorta being you guys bitch about it cause now i’m voting for him tommorow. i live in hampton. i did look at some coverage of him on youtube and he seems really smart and tuff so i’m actually not just voting against allen which is nice.

  8. If it’s the day before a highly polarizing election, and you still don’t know who you are voting for, odds are you have a problem.

    And that problem would be what, indecisiveness? Lack of party loyalty?

    While I don’t necessarily share Jeff P’s apparent scorn for undecided voters, I admit I’ve often wondered about them. I would expect a lot of energy on the party of the major parties goes into profiling these folks, but they sure seem a mystery to me.

  9. As I’ve said before, I’ll vote Webb to spite Allen and the Republican leadership. I’m also voting “Ted Haggard” (as a write-in) for the House to spite both the theocrats who wrote the anti-gay amendment and my pork loving representative in the House, Jim Moran (D). I’d like to simply vote “no” for everything else, including the Arlington school board, but sadly the very existence of the school board isn’t up for a vote.

  10. Alright, D.A. Ridgley, you’ve convinced me to vote Michael T. McMenamin (R) for schoolboard. As Democrats enjoy a monopoly over the schoolboard, voting R is the closest thing to voting “no.”

  11. What, you mean those nonstop “Don’t vote for Jim Webb, because he wrote novels that contain EXPLICIT MATERIAL!!!” attack ads aren’t working?

    I don’t know about YOUS guys, but when I found out that Webb included naughty scenes in his novels, I knew right then that he wasn’t fit for public office.

    I can’t believe the anti-contract amendment is actually starting to lose support! Thank GOD. There’s alot of crap I can take in stride…even Macaca winning would be better…but that goddamned amendment makes me want to start yelling in the streets.

  12. SurveyUSA is a terrible polling company. Don’t believe the hype. Allen will win, sadly, and “libertarian” Jon Henke, sadly, will see his gamble payoff, big time.

  13. FWIW, I’m another Virginian voting for Webb. I’ll hold my nose while doing it, but it has got to happen.
    A political sea change is coming soon in Virginia. I don’t know how soon, but given that abomination of a marriage amendment, I sure hope this is the year.

  14. Chris S:

    McMenamin is the Republican candidate for county board, not for the school board. The Republicans haven’t endorsed either of the two candidates running for school board. The Democrats have endorsed one, however, and that’s probably good enough for me to opt for the other one.

  15. If I were a Virginian, I’d write in Thomas Jefferson.

  16. Is there anyone on this board who honestly does not know who they are voting for? Are the state races so rife with subtle grey areas that they have to be sifted in the voters minds? So much so that poll numbers shift that noticeably?
    If it’s the day before a highly polarizing election, and you still don’t know who you are voting for, odds are you have a problem.

    I am no expert, but I think the reason the polls shift a lot has more to do with the statistical properties of polling than with actual shifts in opinion. I also suspect that many people who report themselves as “undecided” are undedided in the sense “I haven’t even learned who is running” rather than “I know who is running but I just can’t make up my mind.” Or perhaps I am just hoping this is the case…

  17. I think Webb has been ahead all along. The polls have been “mushy” all over the country…but most off all in VA. Allen has been cooked since Macaca, and maybe before, but the surveys have not been picking it up because of out-of-date demographics and huge non-response rates.

    The public surveys, that is. Both campaigns have known it all along, but have reasons to keep it close. Allen’s incentive is obvious. But Webb gets more money, and celebrity visits in a “close/must-win” scenario, too/

    Webb wins by 6-8%.

    The anti-gay amendment passes. AZ too. They always do.

  18. No Libertarians on my ballot, so I’m writing in “None of the Above” for every position.

  19. I’ve got one libertarian in the 10th, then it’s a toss up between Bob Barker or the Cookie Monster.

  20. I’m absolutely undecided. I don’t know yet whether I think it’s more important to cast a protest vote in favor of a libertarian candidate I think is crazy, or whether I should instead vote for a Democrat with a chance of winning to express my hatred for Republicans. I faced the same dilemma in the ’04 presidential race and ended up voting for Badnarik, which made me feel dirty, but slightly less dirty than voting for Kerry would have. This time, I hate Republicans even more, so I haven’t decided yet whether that tips the scales. I probably won’t decide until I’m in the voting booth.

    I hate our political process.

  21. I’m in Cook County, home of Obama. I’m free to make protest votes. Whee!

  22. In my case, all the local races were effectively decided during the Republican primary.

    I did vote against a preferential homestead property tax freeze for the elderly, even though I’ll soon be one.

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