A new SurveyUSA poll says that Rep. Tom Perriello (D-VA), who was elected in a big upset in 2008 riding a Democratic wave, is doomed this year.
The numbers: Republican state Sen. Rob Hurt 61%, Perriello 35%, and independent Tea Partier Jeff Clark at only 2%. The survey of likely voters has a ±4% margin of error. In the previous SurveyUSA poll from mid-July, Hurt led by 58%-35%-4%.
Perriello was elected in 2008, in a stunning upset against Republican Rep. Virgil Goode, who had made a name for himself speaking vocally against Islam over the previous two years. Perriello won by 50.1%-49.9%. John McCain also carried the district by just 51%-48%, much narrower than its previous double-digit margins for George W. Bush.
Clark, the independent Tea Partier, has been accusing the Republicans of dirty tricks against his campaign. But for now, he is only registering at slightly above an asterisk in the polls that include him.
Interestingly, a different poll from early August, by Republican pollster Ayres McHenry and commissioned by the conservative group American Action Fund, put Hurt ahead by the much narrower margin of 49%-43%, with Clark not included.