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Connolly Claims Big Lead Over Fimian

Tim Craig

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly, the Democratic nominee in the 11th congressional district, claims he has a 31-point lead over his Republican opponent, Keith Fimian.

Connolly's campaign released an internal poll that his pollster, Lake Research Partners, conducted from July 10 to July 14. According to the survey, Connolly receives 52 percent of the vote to Fimian's 21 percent. Independent Green Party candidate Joe Oddo receives 2 percent. The candidates are vying to replace Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), who is retiring.

"This is a real pick-up opportunity for Democrats as they seek to expand their governing majority," pollsters Celinda Lake and Joshua Ulibarri wrote in a memo. "Connolly is well-positioned to win."

But the memo reads somewhat like a fundraising appeal.

In campaign finance reports filed this week, Fimian reported he had over $1 million in the bank. Fimian, a wealthy businessman, has already put $325,000 of his own money into the race.

Connolly has only $271,000 in the bank following his nasty primary battle against former Rep. Leslie L. Bryne.

"This consistently ranked as one of the strongest Democratic pick-up opportunities, and this survey validates that argument," the pollsters wrote. "Republican Keith Fimian, however, has the ability to self-fund. If Connolly has the funds to communicate his message of having the right priorities and getting things done for Northern Virginia, he will be the next Congressman from this district."

Zack Condry, Fimian's campaign manager, dismissed the poll. "This just shows that Gerry Connolly is manipulating numbers just as he does for the Fairfax County board of supervisors when taxes have gone up nearly 50 percent during his tenure," Condry said.

James Walkinshaw, Connolly's campaign manager, declined to respond to Condry.

Connolly's campaign polls, however, have generally been pretty good. In March, Lake Research Partners conducted a poll for Connolly that showed he held a 23-point lead over Byrne. Connolly went on to defeat Byrne by 25 points in the June 10 primary.

By Tim Craig  |  July 17, 2008; 12:04 PM ET
Categories:  Election 2008/Congress , Gerald E. Connolly , Polls , Tim Craig  
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Does this mean that the DCCC shortchanges Gerry in support it provides?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Glad to see the "More Trains, Less Traffic" pro-light rail on the beltway Independent Green candidate Joe Oddo included in the poll.

Oddo might still pull 5 to 10%. The Indy Green candidate is the real fiscal conservative in the races.

Posted by: Laura Logan | July 19, 2008 12:54 AM | Report abuse

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