McDonnell's thesis could fuel Dem turnout

Bob McDonnell's (R) controversial thesis isn't scaring away his supporters, but it might be galvanizing his opponents.

From Public Policy Polling's (D) new poll on the Virginia governor's race today:

"Bob McDonnell's thesis is having a mixed impact on the race. Only 2% of people who say they supported him a month ago now say they're going to vote for (Democrat Creigh) Deeds, so the extent to which the thesis is changing people's minds is limited. But it may be playing a role in increasing Democratic turnout. In our last poll those planning to vote this year had voted for John McCain by a 49-45 margin. Now the likely electorate voted for Barack Obama by a 48-45 margin, indicating intended Democratic turnout is now pushing closer to what it was last year. The thesis may not have turned McDonnell votes into Deeds votes, but it looks like it is helping to turn non-voters into Deeds votes."

The polls seem to be settling on about a 4-5 point deficit for Deeds, with just more than one month to go.

PPP's survey concurred with a Washington Post poll from two weeks ago that had McDonnell up four -- the same margin by which he led an Insider Advantage poll last week.

PPP had Deeds trailing by 14 points two months ago, but he has clearly closed that gap significantly and is now within striking distance of McDonnell. Much of that appears to have to do with the fact that McDonnell's favorability has dropped from plus-22 to plus-5. Deeds has gone from plus-12 to plus-1.

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