Rasmussen: McDonnell 51, Deeds 42

It’s raining polls in Virginia, with the Rasmussen poll the latest to show a substantial McDonnell lead in the gubernatorial sweepstakes:

Over the past two weeks, McDonnell’s support has gone up three percentage points while Deeds has lost four points. After closing to essentially a toss-up in mid-September, the race is back to where it was in early September, when the GOP hopeful held a nine-point advantage. In August, McDonnell was up by eight.

Scott includes “leaners” in the headline number. Without these folks, McDonnell still leads, 49-39.

The poll asks about The Thesis, and finds that 51 percent of likely voters think it is at least somewhat (19) or very important (32) in deciding how they will vote. But given the overall numbers, it doesn’t appear as though The Thesis is moving people away from McDonnell.

And what about Mark Warner? Asked whether his endorsement will make people more or less likely to vote for Deeds, 33 percent say more, 30 percent, less and, my favorite, 34 percent say it won’t make any difference.

On former Democratic Gov. Doug Wilder’s non-endorsement of Deeds, 6 percent say it makes them more likely to vote for Creigh, 10 percent say less likely and a whopping 80 percent say no difference.

But again, it’s the independents that are the big prize — and McDonnell is winning them handily, 62-22 (with leaners…and that’s not a typo, it really is a 40 point margin). Without leaners, the numbers are 55-21, with the undecideds going toward McDonnell.