|Poll||Date||Sample||Boucher (D)||Griffith (R)||Spread|
|Final Results||--||--||46.4||51.3||Griffith +4.9|
|SurveyUSA||10/21 - 10/25||608 LV||46||47||Griffith +1|
|SurveyUSA||10/11 - 10/13||633 LV||51||41||Boucher +10|
|SurveyUSA||9/27 - 9/29||628 LV||53||38||Boucher +15|
|SurveyUSA||8/31 - 9/2||576 LV||50||40||Boucher +10|
|SurveyUSA||7/17 - 7/20||579 LV||52||39||Boucher +13|
|2008: Boucher (D) (Unopposed)
||2008: McCain (R) 59%, Obama (D) 40%|
|2006: Boucher (D) 68%, Carrico (R) 32%||2004: Bush (R) 59%, Kerry (D) 39%|
|2004: Boucher (D) 59%, Triplett (R) 39%||2000: Bush (R) 55%, Gore (D) 43%|
10/29/10 -- This race has clearly tightened, and the most recent poll shows Boucher trailing.
Long before Virginia began to realign toward the Republicans in the 1940s, the mountainous counties of southwestern Virginia were supporting the GOP. There are numerous reasons for this: A support for internal improvements, little use for slavery, a worldview focused on the West rather than the South. The district, which has existed roughly since Virginia was re-admitted to the Union in the late 1860s, could usually – though not always – be counted on to elect a Republican congressman. The Great Depression and the unionization of the far western counties finally tilted the district away from the Republicans, until William Creed Wampler managed to pin the district down for the GOP from 1952-54, and again from 1966-82.
In 1982, the poor economic conditions resulted in a national swing against the Republicans, and Wampler was a victim, losing to Rick Boucher, then a 36-year old state Senator. Boucher compiled a fairly moderate voting record, voting with the national party when he could, but always keeping an eye on his district. In 13 re-election efforts, he fell below 59 percent only once, in 1984.
But western Virginia has moved heavily toward the GOP in recent years, giving President George W. Bush and John McCain 59 percent of the vote. Boucher has cast some controversial votes as well, voting for cap-and-trade (which is potentially devastating to the coal industry) and for the stimulus bill. He faces a top tier opponent in state House Majority Leader Morgan Griffith. Boucher led in some early polls, but this race could certainly tighten as we approach November.