Wash. Post Poll: Obama leads in Virginia 52% – 44%; McCain hurt by Bush and Palin.

This is the kind of headline I like to see on the front page of the Washington Post: Poll Gives Obama 8-Point Va. Lead: McCain’s Image Still Linked to Bush.

Obama has the lead, the momentum and the organization in Virginia. The poll shows Obama leading 52% – 44%, but check out this info:

Obama has opened almost 50 offices, dispatched more than 250 paid staffers and recruited thousands of volunteers to knock on doors and call voters across the state.

The poll indicates that Obama’s staff and volunteers have made staggering gains in reaching out to Virginia’s 5 million registered voters. More than half of all voters surveyed said they have been contacted in person, on the phone or by e-mail or text message about voting for Obama, far more than said so about McCain.

Obama’s ground game is being supplemented with a highly energized base of supporters who could give him an advantage in the important get-out-the vote effort.

Seven in 10 Obama supporters said they are “very enthusiastic” about voting for him, an increase from the late September poll. By contrast, 39 percent are that keen on McCain’s candidacy, a 6 percentage-point dip over that period.

Obama has an almost 2 to 1 advantage over McCain in Northern Virginia, surpassing even the 60 percent mark that Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) and Sen. James Webb (D-Va.) racked up in the region during their successful campaigns in 2005 and 2006.

Obama is also performing far better elsewhere in Virginia than Democrats have done in recent state and federal elections. He and McCain each drew 48 percent of the vote outside Northern Virginia, a signal that Obama’s repeated visits, as well as his multimillion-dollar advertising blitz, has softened the GOP base in the more rural parts of the state.

I think one rule in politics is “don’t disrespect the part of a state that has the most voters” like the McCain campaign, through Joe McCain and Nancy Pfotenhauer, did to Northern Virginia.

On the other hand, McCain is dealing with the double whammy of Bush and Palin. First, Bush:

Bush’s unpopularity remains a central liability for McCain in Virginia; 53 percent of voters said the senator would lead the nation in the same direction as Bush has, and these voters overwhelmingly support Obama.

Then, Palin:

Palin also is dragging down McCain in Virginia, the poll indicates. Half of Virginia voters now have “strongly” or “somewhat” negative views of the Alaska governor, a 12 percentage-point increase from September.

Concerns about Palin, who is scheduled to campaign today in Fredericksburg and Leesburg, might be compounded by widespread apprehension about McCain’s taking office at 72. That would make him the oldest person to be elected to a first term as president, and 48 percent of Virginia voters said they are uncomfortable about that.

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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