Tim Kaine was confident of victory as Hillary Clinton’s running mate in 2016, now he’s confident again that he’ll win his Senate race this November.
But narrowing voter polls might give him some cause for concern.
And if Corey Stewart’s internals show any truth, the race could end up far closer than the experts predict.
Stewart Gains 10 Points in Polls Since July
Since July, Republican Corey Stewart has been gaining ground against his Democrat opponent, Tim Kaine in Virginia’s U.S. Senate race.
Stewart’s numbers dipped slightly after winning the GOP nod for U.S. Senate, but have since been climbing upwards.
Real Clear Politics has tracked a 10 point gain for Stewart since July.
While Kaine held an average of over 50 points, Stewart has risen from 26% to 36%, cutting the spread from +23 for Kaine to +16.1
Margins that wide spell a far way to go if Stewart hopes to close the gap, but the rowdy Senate hopeful may have some factors working in his favor.
Stewart is a local county-level politician running for a statewide office.
This Prince William County Supervisor had little name ID outside of his local area when he turned his eye toward higher ambitions.
Even after running for statewide nomination in three Republican contests few people recognized his name outside of GOP circles.
And the polls are reflecting exactly that – low name ID but plenty of room for growth.
If the Stewart campaign has spent their money wisely they could turn out enough soft Republicans and independents to outperform the polls.
Kaine is favored to win, but a Stewart victory is possible if his team can lead unprecedented turnout on Election Day.
Out of State Donors Fund the Majority of Kaine’s Campaign
Kaine is outspending his rival Stewart by nearly 10-1 with most of his donations coming from outside Virginia.
According to The Center for Responsive Politics, $10,352,021, or 62.7% of Kaine’s campaign dollars came from out of state donations.2
In fact, Outside of D.C., New York pitched in the most to Kaine’s race of any metro area in the county.
And while Stewart pulls in more of his war chest from Virginia (75.6%), Kaine still has more pull with major Virginia donors, with $6,147,522 in-state dollars raised against Stewart’s $869,394.
Can Stewart Beat the Odds?
The bad news for Stewart is that money goes a long way in politics.
Being outspent 10-1 and lagging over 10 points in the polls is hard to come back from.
But Stewart’s team has a glimmer of hope.
The Democrats biggest concern is taking back the U.S. House of Representatives.
And conventional wisdom says Kaine has this race locked up; which explains why he’s spending much of his time and money on down-ballot Congressional races.
A loss of focus on Kaine’s own race might give Stewart the opening he needs.
Even still, the GOP hopeful has a lot of work to do to come out on top.
With enough grassroots support Stewart can outperform the polls.
But in order to oust Kaine, he’ll need to rally an unprecedented level of turnout, even blowing out results from 2016.
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