I am not a fan of “unskewing” polls or going down the rabbit hole of questioning every suspect result, but let’s be clear — not all polling outfits are created equal. Specifically, Roanoke College is the king of junk polling in Virginia.
Their latest poll has Democrat Ralph Northam leading Republican Ed Gillespie by 7 points in the race for Governor. Take it with a grain of salt. A few highlights of Roanoke College’s track record when it comes to polling the Commonwealth:
- Before the 2016 primary, Roanoke College had the race at Trump 38, Cruz 15, Rubio 12. Marco Rubio would end up receiving 32% of the vote. Roanoke College missed by 20.
- In 2014, Roanoke College had Democrat Mark Warner up 13 points on Ed Gillespie in the U.S. Senate race. Warner would win by a narrow half-point margin.
- In 2013, Roanoke College had Democrat Terry McAuliffe up 15 points over Ken Cuccinelli for Governor. McAuliffe would only win by 2.5%.
I’m not saying that Northam doesn’t have a slight edge in this year’s gubernatorial contest, but let’s not give Virginia’s least credible polling outfit too much credit.