The poll that counts

7/26/2018, 6 a.m.
When it comes to political races, don’t believe the polls.

When it comes to political races, don’t believe the polls.

As former Gov. L. Douglas Wilder used to say: The only poll that counts is the one on Election Day.

That’s sage advice from the nation’s first African-American elected governor.

During his historic election in November 1989, exit polls showed that Mr. Wilder would win by 10 percentage points. But when the votes were counted, Mr. Wilder won by a margin of 7,700 votes, less than one half of 1 percent.

So we are a bit unfazed by the latest polls showing Democratic U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine leading in his re-election bid against his Republican opponent, Corey Stewart, by 18 percentage points.

We also watched a YouTube broadcast of their first debate, which was held by the Virginia Bar Association last Saturday at a Bath County resort.

Our takeaway: It’s going to be a long, hard 100-plus days to the Nov. 6 election. 

Mr. Stewart is a right wing politician who cavorts with white nationalists, supports the shameful statues honoring Confederates, calls immigrants “animals” and is hot to eliminate the Affordable Care Act and women’s rights to have an abortion. He is cut from the same racist, diseased cloth as President Trump. He tried to dodge questions about his racist, xenophobic and misogynistic views during the debate and had the unmitigated gall to say that Mr. Trump is “standing up to the Russians.” The audience laughed.

Meanwhile, Sen. Kaine discussed during the debate his efforts to reduce veterans’ unemployment, to set up career and technical education that would grow Virginia jobs, and his belief that the Trump administration shouldn’t engage in a “foolish” trade war, with tariffs on our allies and major trading partners.

We have to hand it to Sen. Kaine for remaining calm in the face of Mr. Stewart’s lies.

We hope Virginians don’t look at the polls and take for granted that the election is in the bag for Sen. Kaine.

Virginia cannot afford to lose Sen. Kaine in Washington. Nor can we afford to have another Trump sycophant like Mr. Stewart in office. 

We urge organizations to continue their efforts to register new voters in this state. And we urge voters to turn out at the polls on Nov. 6 and cast a ballot for Sen. Kaine.

Remember, the only poll that counts is the one on Election Day.