Quentin Kidd proved to be 2017’s most accurate pollster, and while it is far too early to determine the 2018 U.S. Senate GOP nominee, it is clear that Prince William County Chairman Corey Stewart’s name ID from his near-run primary effort against former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie is still paying dividends.
From the press release:
Corey Stewart, who nearly upset eventual nominee Ed Gillespie in last year’s GOP gubernatorial primary, leads the field with support from 16 percent of the Republican voters surveyed. E.W. Jackson, who also has some name recognition as the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor in 2013, won 7 percent of those surveyed. Del. Nick Freitas polled at 6 percent, and newcomer Ivan Raiklin polled at 1 percent. The survey of 1,562 registered Virginia voters has an overall margin of error of +/-2.5%.
Kaine showed a 20-plus point advantage over his potential rivals in the survey. In head-to-head matchups, Kaine consistently polled at 56 percent, with Stewart at 32 percent, Jackson at 32 percent and Freitas at 33 percent. “That says less about the candidates and more about the size of the Republican base – the locked-in vote against Kaine,” said Wason Center Assistant Director Rachel Bitecofer. “As it stands, the Republican primary is a contest between unknowns.”
Trump’s approval rating in Virginia remains at 38% — lower than the 49% Trump enjoys nationally according to Rasmussen.
One wild card? Major General (ret.) Bert Mizusawa, whose campaign has barely kicked off and only just recently begun the task of gathering signatures, was not polled — though one imagines that his numbers would hover somewhere in the single digits as well.
If one extrapolates the numbers evenly, Stewart would lead with 52.8% of the vote, with Jackson at 23.1% and Freitas at 19.8%. Of course, there is still plenty of time on the clock, and while one wonders how deep the support for the various candidates truly is, the fact of the matter is that the Virginia electorate has yet to learn who any of the five candidates — save Corey Stewart — truly is.
With numbers that only prove how early this election season truly is, Kaine still polls rather evenly in the mid-60s against all his challengers — though those numbers are sure to come down as name ID begins to collide with record.