Sabato’s Crystal Ball

Map 1: gubernatorial race ratings

Red to Blue

“The latest polls must be deeply worrying to Cuccinelli’s campaign. Despite quite a bit of negative commentary for McAuliffe, the latest surveys by The Washington Post, Marist and Rasmussen found him continuing to lead Cuccinelli in the Race for Richmond. Of the available public polls, the last one showing a Cuccinelli lead came out in mid-July — that’s 12 straight showing a McAuliffe lead. In other words, even though McAuliffe had a rough stretch, Cuccinelli was unable to capitalize. Some food for thought: It’s entirely possible that the NVTC affair was just a blip on the public’s radar, with television media focusing more on events such as the recent endorsement of McAuliffe by the Republican mayor of Virginia Beach, the state’s largest city. We have seen nothing to change our pre-Labor Day LEANS DEMOCRATIC rating — including Wednesday night’s debate — but we will obviously keep a close watch on it from our home base here in Charlottesville.

Republicans are fearful that Democrats will sweep all three statewide races in November — governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general — for the first time in 24 years, and they’re right to be concerned.”