On September 16, Purple Strategies released a Virginia 2013 gubernatorial poll. The poll was conducted by phone and internet. For phone users, the respondents did not receive a phone call from a human researcher, but from an interactive electronic system of communication. The respondent was only offered the choice of the Democratic nominee, the Republican nominee, or “not sure.” It was impossible for the respondent to express any choice beyond those three. The same was true for the respondents who answered the poll via computer.
The results: Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe 43%, Republican nominee Ken Cuccinelli 38%, “not sure” 19%. The “not sure” category is unusually high for a high-profile race this close to the election, so that probably indirectly suggests a relatively large percentage for Rob Sarvis, the third choice on the ballot. One would think polling companies would want to know how much support Sarvis is receiving. If he did receive 10%, the Libertarian Party would become a ballot-qualified party in Virginia for the first time, and would be automatically on the ballot in 2014 as well as 2015 and 2016. That would be the first time Virginia had had a ballot-qualified third party since the period 1994-1997, something that ought to be interesting to general readers who care about politics and government.