Allen in Jeopardy as Voters React to "Macaca"
by Jonathan Singer, Mon Aug 21, 2006 at 01:27:44 PM EDT
Don't think George Allen's stupid comments are going to affect his chances at reelection this fall, let alone his presidential ambitions? Take a look at the latest numbers from SurveyUSA.
In an election for the United States Senate in Virginia today, 8/21/06, incumbent Republican George Allen edges Democrat challenger James Webb 48% to 45%, according to an exclusive SurveyUSA poll conducted for WUSA-TV Washington DC.
Since an identical SurveyUSA poll released 6/28/06, Allen has lost 8 points and Webb has gained 8 points. Allen's lead has shrunk from 19 points to 3 points.
Interviewing for this poll began 8/18/06, 1 week after Allen singled out a Webb campaign worker at an Allen rally. Allen has lost support across all demographic groups, but in particular, among younger voters, he has gone from Plus 23 to Minus 17, a swing of 40 points. In Southeastern VA, Allen has gone from a 2:1 lead to a tie, a 31-point swing.
When Rasmussen Reports came out with polling last week showing Allen's lead over Netroots-approved fighting Dem Jim Webb down to just 47-42, I was at least somewhat skeptical (even more so than my normal skepticism about Rasmussen). However, that now a second pollster has found Allen to be in a statistical dead-heat with Jim Webb seems to lend credence to the idea that the "macaca" comment has fundamentally upended the Virginia Senate race.
Could it be that George Allen is this cycle's Jim Bunning, a candidate who buckles under pressure and completely loses composure as the media begin to take a real look at him? Could it be that Allen's "macaca" comment will affect his campaign as much as Bunning's teleprompter incident affected his in 2004? If so, Allen's in a whole heck of a lot of trouble because he doesn't have anyone up-ballot to pull him into a narrow victory this fall. So if Allen does not right his ship soon (and it doesn't seem like he is anywhere near doing this yet), he could just be the sixth pick-up opportunity Democrats need to retake the U.S. Senate this fall.