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A Byrne Poll in the 11th

Amy Gardner

The congressional campaign of Leslie L. Byrne has released details from an internal poll showing her in a statistical dead heat with fellow Democrat Gerald E. Connolly.

The two are competing in the June 10 primary along with two others, Doug Denneny and Lori P. Alexander, for the Democratic nomination in the 11th Congressional District, where incumbent Tom Davis is retiring. The winner will face Republican newcomer Keith Fimian in the fall in an increasingly blue-leaning district that includes much of central Fairfax County and a part of Prince William County.

According to an internal memo issued by the campaign, Connolly is ahead of Byrne 37 percent to 34 percent among likely Democratic primary voters -- a statistical dead heat given the poll's margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

The numbers represent a dramatic contrast to Connolly's most recent internal poll, conducted in April, which put the chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors 20 points ahead of Byrne. Connolly's previous poll, conducted in January, showed a 23-point margin.

Byrne's latest numbers even contrast with her own January poll, which put her 10 points ahead of Connolly.

"With 20 days to go it's an absolute dead heat," said Byrne campaign manager Joe Fox. "Leslie Byrne has momentum and is in position to win this primary."

When asked about the fact that Byrne's apparent lead has actually shrunk since the campaign's last poll in January, Fox said: "Voters pay attention at different times. These numbers are fluid from one month to the next. But the bottom line is there are less than three weeks left and it's a dead heat."

Connolly campaign manager James Walkinshaw said Byrne's latest poll is no more credible than her last, which gave unknown newcomer Doug Denneny 8 percent of likely voters' support.

"That poll was so ridiculous that it casts serious doubt on what they've released now," Walkinshaw said. He added: "It also sounds like Gerry Connolly is surging. They had us down by 10 points in January. Now they have us up by three. I don't think any of it's accurate, but it is interesting that Gerry Connolly is surging in Leslie Byrne's own internal polling."

By Amy Gardner  |  May 21, 2008; 5:25 PM ET
Categories:  Amy Gardner , Election 2008/Congress , Gerald E. Connolly , Leslie L. Byrne , Polls  
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The quote from the Connolly campaign is hilarious....yes, Connolly has surged himself right into a dead heat.

Hysterical. Boss Connolly is in trouble...

Posted by: Not James Walkinshaw | May 21, 2008 7:49 PM | Report abuse


The voters of the 11th CD did not re-elect Leslie Byrne for a reason. She was not effective, she was not likable, and she was not the right Democrat. We need someone who has taken ACTION and someone who is DETERMINED. We need someone who is a WINNER. Gerry Connolly has been elected twice to be the Board of Supervisors. Leslie Byrne lost her 11th CD seat to Tom Davis AND lost the Lt. Governor race in 2005 (yes, that's the same race in which TIM KAINE won...she had no reason to lose, besides the fact that Virginians don't like her).

Likability and electability are two important factors--it's why I'm supporting Connolly and it's why he'll win.

Posted by: Shane | May 21, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

What percentage did the poll give to Denneny and Alexander

Posted by: Anonymous | May 21, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Kaine and Connolly can go cut more Estate Taxes together.

They can go vote for giveaways to corporate polluters together.

They can go appease the Chamber of Commerce together.

I'll vote for Leslie. I'll take her 2 years of seniority in Congress (which will put her over at least 50 congressmen by next year), and I'll take someone who stands for the People, not the last person who wrote her a check.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 21, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Shane-- If Connolly was such a winner, he wouldn't have waited until Davis stepped down to run.

The truth is that Gerry feared he would suffer the same exact fate as Leslie, and unlike Leslie, he doesn't have the guts to take on a tough fight.

Posted by: Not James Walkinshaw | May 21, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Regarding tough fights, the difference is that Gerry wins them, while Leslie loses about half of the time.

Maybe Leslie should conduct a poll on which office she should run for next. Has this woman ever actually had a real job?

Posted by: J in Fairfax | May 22, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

What a bunch of circus freaks.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

2008 is the year of the man, get out of the way b1tch

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Jan= Byrne way up

Webb endorses Byrne

May = Byrne losing and dropped to dead heat.

Joe Fox better get a resume together for June 11. At least he is doing the best spinning possible for a losing candidate.

Posted by: Byrne polling is Foolish | May 22, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Kudos to Joe Fox for the spin...not bad. The fact of the matter is no matter which poll you look at Connolly is winning. He is more well-known, and he is communicating more effectively on the issues, rather than trying to take his opponent down with false attacks. Voters recognize who the stronger candidate really is, and they will ultimately elect Connolly on June 10.

Posted by: Not Ben Tribett | May 23, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Right on, the most corrupt candidate is also the one most likely to WIN!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 23, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Got some real nasty Byrne literature in the mail today.

Doesen't accuse Connolly of anything illegal or unethical, just makes it seem that way.

I'm sure that the SwiftBoaters will have a job available for her after June 10th. And what the heck, she's previously attacked other Democrats after she lost to them. Why not continue the tradition and work against Connolly and Obama, after Hillary loses to him.

Never let it be said that Leslie is ethically challenged. You have to have had them first.

Posted by: Dial '527' | May 24, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Leslie Byrne should be ashamed of her swiftboating of Gerry Connolly. Her negative attack pieces show she is losing badly and cannot win on the issues.

Clearly she is working in tandem with Ben Tribbutt to "Shermanize" primary politics.

Byrne can't win and her negative attacks show she is unworthy of being elected in the new era of progressive change and leadership.

Is there any doubt why Gov. Kaine and just about every local state delegate, senator and supervisor endorsed Connolly?

Posted by: Shame on Leslie Byrne | May 25, 2008 7:57 AM | Report abuse

so she's "swiftboating" but you won't say how


Posted by: Anonymous | May 27, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

What the Leslie Byrne crowd seems too thick to realize is that political corruption, ie., awarding government contracts in exchange for political donations and/or bribes, is a FELONY.

So by accusing Connolly of the practice, which they repeatedly do, they are literally accusing him of a crime.

Furthermore, they accuse Connolly of being a war-profiteer. They actually assign this despicable label to him because he works part-time in the community relations department of a government contractor. A company which, by the way, does hundreds of millions of dollars worth of business each year, yet the contract in question was less than $16 million dollars.

I have friends who work at SAIC, indeed, many in NoVa do as SAIC employs over 15,000 people. I can personally attest to the fact that my friends are not "war profiteers." Those who throw around such accusations are truly grotesque human beings. Calling them "swiftboaters" is an insult to swiftboaters.

Posted by: Ind Voter | May 28, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Dude, it's not a felony if you win.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 30, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

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