Well that’s gonna wreck a narrative or two:

Of course, this isn’t news to most Republicans who have been following the race.  As Northam’s political and financial troubles continue to mount, Gillespie’s calm and steady hand on the campaign wheel has been the precise antidote to the politics of disruption.

The question being answered in the Virginia 2017 gubernatorial race is simple: Who can best calm the environment?

At the moment, Virginians are responding with Ed Gillespie, and whether one chooses to believe that the polls have stayed relatively flat, or whether one runs with the narrative that Gillespie has closed an 8 point gap within a month — either way, Democrats are in trouble.


UPDATE:  So some of the early poll numbers are trickling out.  Some details:

  • Gillespie is winning independents by 4 points
  • Gillespie is doing better among Republicans (by 3 points) than Ralph is among Dems
  • LP candidate Cliff Hyra is at 3 points — evidence that Hyra’s anti-pipeline and environmentalist stances are peeling away support from Northam.

More critically for the Democrats?  Trump just isn’t doing for them what they thought he would do:

Donald Trump may not be the top issue for most Virginia voters, but he is having an impact on the 2017 election. Specifically, 4-in-10 voters say that Pres. Trump is either a major factor (26%) or minor factor (14%) in deciding how they will vote for governor. Those saying Trump is a factor include 52% of Northam supporters, 32% of Gillespie supporters, and 32% of those who are undecided or are supporting the third party candidate.
While Trump is a presence in this election, few voters would actually alter their intention at this point if he wasn’t a consideration. Nearly all Gillespie voters (99%) would stick with their choice if Trump was not a factor in their vote. Somewhat fewer Northam voters (88%) say they would stay with the Democrat, with many of the potential defectors (7%) moving into the undecided column. Taken together, these results suggest that Gillespie could actually have a lead of 45% to 40% over Northam – with 12% being undecided – if Trump did not currently figure into the equation.

Compound this with Northam’s empty warchest and the Republican Governor’s Association pouring in $3 million in direct contributions to Gillespie’s campaign?

Looks like Northam is cruising to becoming the fifth “moral victory” since the November 2016 elections.  Which begs the question: Precisely how many more moral victories can the Democratic Party sustain at this rate?