Mason-Dixon issued a new poll this morning showing Republican gubernatorial nominee Ed Gillespie within one point of embattled Democratic lieutenant governor Ralph Northam, in a 44-43 race that shows Libertarian Cliff Hyra at a scant 2%.

The press release can be found here.  Compared to the results in the University of Mary Washington poll that had a similar D+7 lean showing Gillespie statistically tied, and a more realistic D+3 Suffolk poll that showed the race tied up at 40-40, the narrative that Northam has a mystical commanding lead over Gillespie has not only been shattered — but with just seven weeks left to go in the Virginia 2017 elections, Northam has been put on the ropes in a big way.

Add to it the fact that Gillespie’s fundraising has been outstanding against an out-of-state machine working for the Democrats (and backed up by an RNC warchest that dwarfs what the DNC could ever hope to match), and the fact of the matter is that Northam’s prospects have diminished in a serious way.

One senses that the Democrats have to make a move at this point.  Calling Gillespie a “lobbyist” hasn’t worked.  Confederate statues haven’t worked.  Demanding a $15 minimum wage — well beyond the $10 living wage — hasn’t worked.  Medicaid expansion hasn’t worked.  Antifa mobs have definitely not worked.

Now that the U.S. Senate Democrats have removed the possibility of a federal budget shutdown in Washington this October, Northam’s handlers are running out of wild cards to bail them out.  Given that Perriello can’t possibly give his candidate a personality transplant, there is a growing sense among Democrats that maybe — just maybe — they nominated the wrong candidate.

Meanwhile, Republicans are united behind Gillespie after navigating the dog days of summer — the first time Republicans have enjoyed such unity since the “McBollinelli” sweep of 2009.