. . . cleverly disguised as good news.
The news in question is the PPP poll of Virginia 5. Outwardly, it looks good for Hurt, he is dead even with incumbent Democrat Tom Perriello despite 70% of voters having no opinion of him (Hurt, that is).
The trouble starts when the other Republicans are mentioned. None of them have the name recognition Hurt does (such as it is), but all of them are within 10 points of Perriello. In short, Tom Perriello is likely to lose to any Republican - meaning Hurt’s biggest claims to fame – electability and recognition – are worth zilch.
Then things really get bad. PPP also asked a threew-way-race question (Perriello, Hurt, and Virgil Goode – yes, that Virgil Goode) and found Hurt running a distant third (12%), with Goode and Perriello tied at 41%.
The translation is simple: so long as the Republicans can hold together behind one candidate, they can win. If not, they’ll lose.
The question then becomes this: which Republican is most likely to hold the anti-Democrat coalition together in the 5th (i.e., keep Goode out of the race)? The answer is clearly not the fellow who voted for both Warner’s tax increase and the dreaded HB3202.