After two polls showed Democrat Terry McAuliffe leading Republican Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia’s gubernatorial race, Cuccinelli released his own poll on Thursday evening claiming — based on no actual data — that he holds a 15 point lead.
Cuccinelli’s team made up the fictional polling company — Republican Republican Republican (RRR) Polling, a satirical knock on Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling — to mock other polling companies who have been reporting results that aren’t in their candidate’s favor.
A press release from the Cuccinelli camp read, “Data shows that Cuccinelli is loved by everyone and disliked by no one. However, the same cannot be said of Terry McAuliffe, as even Democrats don’t like him.” The release, written by campaign strategist Chris LaCivita continued, “The poll consisted of 45 percent Republicans and 20 percent Democrats. The remainder is independents, and most of them don’t like Terry either.”
Accurate data, from actual political polling groups like Quinnipiac, recently reported McAuliffe holding a 48-42 point edge over Cuccinelli.
The same Quinnipiac poll reports 52 percent of Virginia voters believe Cuccinelli spends more time attacking McAuliffe than discussing pertinent issues; 56 percent of voters believe this is true for McAuliffe.
Unfortunately for Cuccinelli, creating polls with outcomes in his favor doesn’t make his chances of winning any better. And making public statements acknowledging that the only way he can lead in the polls is by fabricating them isn’t a great approach to gaining more votes from an electorate of which 53 percent already have an unfavorable view of the Republican candidate.
McAuliffe appears to be pulling away from Cuccinelli as November approaches. Cuccinelli led many polls as late as May, but since June, McAuliffe has been slowly building an advantage. The Democrat’s gains have been significant enough that Virginia-based analyst Larry Sabato has moved the race from a “toss-up” into the “leans Democratic” category.
Josh Schwerin, a spokesman for McAuliffe, offered a negative response to the RRR poll on Friday. “Ken Cuccinelli’s fake polls might be funny if they weren’t released the same day news broke on his ties to radical anti-women’s rights groups that share many of Cuccinelli’s extreme views,” he said. “While real and fake polls vary, it’s clear Cuccinelli’s positions like opposing the Violence Against Women Act and voting against adequate child support are increasingly costing him support with Virginia voters.”
H/T: Loudoun Times
Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr.com