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Virginia 5th District - Hurt vs. Perriello


Robert Hurt

Robert Hurt (R)

Bio | Campaign Site

Tom Perriello

Tom Perriello (D)*

Bio | Campaign Site

Virginia Snapshot

RCP Ranking:
2010 State Races:
VA-2 | VA-9 | VA-11

----------PAST KEY RACES----------

President | Senate | VA-11
2006: Senate | VA-2
2004: President

Polling Data

PollDateSampleHurt (R)Perriello (D)Spread
Final Results----50.947.0Hurt +3.9
SurveyUSA*10/27 - 10/27524 LV5143Hurt +8
Roanoke College10/5 - 10/14567 LV4640Hurt +6
SurveyUSA*10/8 - 10/11613 LV5241Hurt +11
The Hill/Penn, Schoen & Berland (D)9/28 - 9/30403 LV4544Hurt +1
SurveyUSA9/24 - 9/27624 LV5835Hurt +23
SurveyUSA8/31 - 9/1581 LV6135Hurt +26
AAF/Ayers (R)7/28 - 8/1400 LV4943Hurt +6
SurveyUSA7/16 - 7/19591 LV5835Hurt +23
PPP (D)2/5 - 2/10924 RV4444Tie

Previous Election Results

  2008: Perriello (D) 50.1%, Goode (R) 49.9%   2008: McCain (R) 51%, Obama (D) 48%
  2006: Goode (R) 59%, Weed (D) 40%   2004: Bush (R) 56%, Kerry (D) 43%
  2004: Goode (R) 64%, Weed (D) 36%   2000: Bush (R) 55%, Gore (D) 42%

Race Analysis

10/29/10 -- Obama's Charlottesville visit drew thousands of students and turned away more, but it isn't really clear that it will be enough to save Perriello.  It may have turned off conservative voters elsewhere in the district.  This is probably a single-digit race, but Perriello is definitely the underdog.

10/6/10 -- This is a surprisingly well-polled House race.  The margins in the race vary widely, from a one-point Hurt lead to a stunning 23-point Hurt lead.  But there are two constants here -- Hurt is in the lead, and Perriello is mired somewhere in the mid- to low 40s in the polls.  Few incumbents can survive there.

----------Race Preview---------

Southside Virginia was the last part of the Commonwealth to swing toward the Republicans. This was George Wallace country in 1968, and Jimmy Carter country in 1976. In 1980, every congressional district in Virginia elected a Republican, save for the 5th. To this day, it has never elected a Republican to replace a Democrat.

In 1996, L.F. Payne retired to concentrate on a bid for lieutenant governor. He was replaced by Virgil Goode, a conservative Democrat who voted more frequently with Republicans than with Democrats. Goode declared himself an independent who caucused with Republicans in 2000, then officially joined the party in 2002. But a series of controversial comments, combined with a surge of student votes in Charlottesville and African American votes in Southside proved to be too much for him to overcome. He lost by 727 votes to Tom Perriello.

Perriello has taken a unique tack in this conservative district, supporting almost all of the Obama administration’s initiatives, including the health care bill. His willingness to stand on principle has earned him his fair share of admirers. But it isn’t clear how it will play in his district. He’s one of the most endangered Democrats in the House, and will face Republican state Senator Rob Hurt in the general election.