McAuliffe Monday Night Internals: 33%-33%-21%

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I just received this from the McAuliffe campaign. As I said yesterday, the only poll that matters is on election day. To use another cliche, "it ain't over 'til the fat lady sings," and I'm not hearing a peep yet. :) Go Terry!
We conducted a poll over the last three nights - with 200 interviews a night. We never base decisions on one night's worth of interviews because the sample is too small. But throughout this campaign our night-by-night numbers have been reliable and have picked up trends such as the recent increase in support for Deeds. I am encouraged that last night's interviews have us tied with Deeds.

McAuliffe: 33
Deeds: 33
Moran: 21

While this is not definitive, last night's trend shows this is a competitive race and we need to make sure that every vote counts and we need to make every effort to turn out our voters today.

Mark my words: we can win this thing tonight. There are three key things to take away from our polling research.

First, people want someone who shares their values on gun safety issues. Terry McAuliffe opposes allowing concealed weapons into bars and supports former Governor Dough Wilder's one-gun-per-month law. That message is resonating with this electorate.

Second, people want a candidate who can win. Brian Moran's numbers are flat. He's not within striking distance, and doesn't show any signs of upward movement. If voters want a candidate who can beat Bob McDonnell in November, Terry McAuliffe is the guy to do it.

Third, this race is remarkably fluid, and our field operation is making the difference. We've been polling for three nights, and based on our interviews last night, we're going to close the gap. Public Policy Polling's Tom Jensen noted on Sunday that, "Voter preferences in this election are about as fluid as in any race PPP has ever polled… Usually voter preferences are pretty hardened by 48-72 hours before an election but if there was ever one where that could change this would be it."

It's true that there was serious momentum toward Deeds at the end of last week - and over three days, he has the lead. But we have every indication that voters have moved towards Terry at lightning speed within the last 48 hours, and that's thanks to your work. Staff and volunteers have made a combined 472,801 calls from Saturday through Monday. That doesn't count anything we've already done today.

We've got the momentum. But we need to keep it up. Tell your friends, family and neighbors to get to the polls. And come down to your local field office to make some calls in these final hours.

Click here to find your local field office.

If we keep the pedal to the metal until the polls close at 7 PM tonight, we will win this thing!


Mo Elleithee
Senior Campaign Strategist


  1. Mo is a nice guy, but this sounds like bullshit to me. He states that voters have shifted to Terry at lightening speed in the last 48 hours. I ask, Why? What changed to cause that shift?

    I understand the reason votes shifted to Deeds, because the WaPo endorsement served as a catalyst for the underlying current that was already in the electorate. But why would there be a mass shift to Terry?

    Gun control?

    I think not.

  2. Mo sent out the email, but remember that Terry's pollster is Pete Brodnitz, and he's considered one of the best. My view of this race is that it's been highly volatile the past couple of weeks, so who the heck knows.

  3. I never trust campaign internals, even when I like their results. That's my cynicism.

    Here's an anectdotal factoid: I know, in checking my blog's sitemeter stats on the Referral page, that I've gotten lots of readers from Google today. They are all looking up Creigh Deeds. They are not researching Terry or Brian or Jody. A few are researching Mike Signer and the Lt. Gov's race, in general. But overwhelmingly, the look ups are coming to me from Google because they are researching Creigh.

    I don't know if that means anything - it's certainly less than scientific. But I've never seen a pattern like that before.

  4. If their internals have them tied - and with 12-13% undecided - that means they're really about 5 points behind, not counting the undecideds who will break with the momentum.

    Deeds by 6-8 points over Terry, with Brian lucky to break 22%

  5. If a campaign is putting out INTERNAL polling that has them TIED that is a horrible sign. Vote Anyone But T.Mac

  6. What about the previous two days? If they're not talking about those that speaks volumes on how those turned out.

  7. Hmmm....personally, I'm not sensing a shift, and have really seen the undecides I know breaking for Deeds. The energy is simply palpable. But good for the McAuliffe campaign for putting out a realistic and yet hopeful message to their volunteers, who deserve great thanks as Democrats for their efforts.

    After all, no matter what happens today, we'll need everyone best efforts in the fall!

  8. I'm somehow reminded of a mailing I got from Ben "Cooter" Jones in the waning days of his campaign against Eric Cantor, dramatically proclaiming how the race was tightening

  9. I especially like where they couldn't spell Doug Wilder's name correctly. "Dough Wilder!"

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  11. Is there not a memo from their pollster?

    ie, would one would put their professional name on the line for this poll?

  12. "Terry's pollster is Pete Brodnitz"-That's a quote from Lowell, 2nd comment on this post. So, yes there's a name behind the poll.

    I'm not a Virginia voter, but my brother is. He's a student at VT, and was there during the shootings. Pro-gun Deeds definitely doesn't have my family's support.

  13. Since I received a polling call from Terry Monday night, I'd have to ask if Mo is counting push poll results. Because that's what they are running. Did I know that "Cray" Deeds (I corrected the callers pronunciation, but she continued to call him that) favored concealed weapons in bars...blah, blah, blah...
    Is Mo reporting the initial results or the pushed results?
    I told the caller that Dems who live south of Fredricksburg don't have all that much problem with guns, so she'd be better spending her time calling Northern Virginia.
    Not sure she appreciated the advice.

  14. Unfortunately, unless the automated tel. calling system was changed since I made my several hundred calls for Terry Sat. and Sun., the callers not only don't have a choice (nor do the staffer running the call center offices) as to what regions they are calling they don't have any way to know from one call to the next which Va. region they will be connected with. IMHO (as well as the opnion of my twin brother who lives in the Fighting 9th 5 miles from Va.Tech), it makes no sense for callers to be connected randomly to voters all over the state. If the volunteer knows he/she is speaking with someone in his area, he knows how to adjust his pitch, what is most important to the voter being called and how to sell the caididate and his positions, plans, etc., so the voter feels the caller and the cadidate can relate to his/her specific issue priorities. If the automated system would at least let the caller know the area code of the number being called the caller would have some clue as to how to begin the conversation. For example, I'm from Wise County and I know the large majority of voters there are profoundly upset with Moran's support of the coal-fired Dominion plant and yet opposes the Surry coal-fired plant.But we aren't allowed to ask the called person where they live so we don't have any way to know what's important to them unless they stay on the line long enough for us to have a conversation with them about how our candidate's positions and plans best fit their needs.

    This is of course not a problem with any one candidate's campaign but rather a problem with how both parties manage their tel. GOTV systems. Changing the calling systems to a region-specific system is very simple technically, and allowing the volunteer callers to know where the person they are calling should be a fundamental requirement. The Neighbor-to-Neighbor concept, supplemented by tel. numbers of local people, is a proven successful approach.

    Just a few somewhat rambling "Lessons Learned" (again) thoughts that really should be cseriously considered soon for the general election campaign.