But Republicans in Virginia don’t have the luxury of having that much time. The general election in Virginia is less than a month away. On November 5, 2013 Virginia’s voters will elect a new Governor, and fill seats in the State Senate and the House of Delegates.
A new NBC News/Marist poll released yesterday found that a majority (54 %) of likely voters in Virginia blame Republicans for the Shutdown, and plan to let the Republican Party know it on Election Day.
The poll found that in the past month Democrat Terry McAuliffe's lead over Republican Ken Cuccinelli has increased by 3%. McAuliffe now leads Cuccinelli by an eight point margin: 46% to 38%.
The support for Cuccinelli, a Tea party favorite, remained the same at 38%, but undecided voters now say they will vote for McAuliffe because of the Shutdown
Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis has the support of 9% of the likely voters.
Virginia was hard hit by the Shutdown because hundreds of thousands of federal employees, federal contractors, military families, and military retirees live in the State. A full 39% of Virginia’s likely voters said that either they or a family member had been affected by the Shutdown, which they blame on the Republicans.
Among Virginia’s registered voters, 38% said the Shutdown would have a major impact on their vote; 21% said the Shutdown would have a minor one. Both groups favored McAuliffe by a wide margin.
The poll showed that the Shutdown damaged the Republican Party image Virginia, where 62% of the Virginians polled said they had an unfavorable view of the Republican Party, and 71% of independents said they had a negative view of Republicans.
On the other hand, 50% of those polled had a favorable view of both President Obama and the Democrats.
Who knows what the future will bring. But, if the poll numbers are correct, the immediate future looks bleak for Republicans in Virginia.