In a poll conducted by Citizens United over this last weekend, Del. Barbara Comstock outshines her nearest rival by a 4-to-1 margin in her bid for the GOP nomination to replace retiring Rep. Frank Wolf.
The poll shows Comstock at 44% of the total likely party canvass vote. The next highest total is Del. Bob Marshall at 10%. Thirty percent of poll respondents say they remain undecided, but these numbers mean that even in the unlikely event that all undecided voters swing to Marshall, he’d still not catch up with Comstock.
The logic of this poll, if accurate, suggests that Comstock’s rivals will need to go negative—and hard—to eat into her lead if they have any hope of surviving to claim the nomination on April 26. But the poll further shows that this strategy is also unlikely to succeed, as Comstock is well known among most district voters and currently enjoys a 6-to-1 net favorability advantage (57% favorable to 9% unfavorable). By contrast, every single one of her opponents, including Marshall, remain largely unknown to the voters of the 10th District, with each one totaling over 60% in the “Never Heard Of” and “Heard of But no Opinion” responses.
It should be noted that Citizens United is not a neutral player in this race. The organization has made no secret of its support for Comstock, and even sponsored her hospitality suite at the Republican Party of Virginia Advance at the Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, VA this past December. That said, these kinds of numbers are really hard to simply fake, and even if the pollsters did have their thumbs on the scale (and there is no indication they did), the overall trend here suggests a likelihood of a fairly decisive win for Comstock.
The full breakdown of the top line poll numbers is as follows: