CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – After a week ripe with controversy for the Dittmar campaign, new polling indicates the race for Virginia’s Fifth Congressional District is continuing to widen significantly.
Polling conducted over the weekend by Meeting Street Research, a nationally recognized survey firm based in South Carolina, showed Garrett with a solid eleven-point lead over Dittmar (50%-39%). Polling by the same firm in September showed Garrett ahead by a similar margin (47% to 36%). Republicans are solidified behind Garrett (91%-0%) and Democrats are supporting Dittmar (90%-2%), but Independents are giving their votes to Garrett (52%-30%).
The 400 sample survey also showed Garrett ahead in favorable ratings, with a 30%-14% favorable/unfavorable rating, while Dittmar’s numbers were 22% favorable and 22% unfavorable. Garrett also leads in every region of the district.
“The problem for Dittmar is that there are more Republicans in this district than there are Democrats (Cooke rating R+5), and that the GOP is totally solid behind Garrett. Worse for her, Garrett is currently winning Independents as well,” said Meeting Street Research pollster Rob Autry.
With regard to the new polling data, Senator Garrett issued the following statement:
“We are up double digits and have been for months. I am particularly proud of the tremendous effort by our campaign regardless of the fact that this district tends to vote Republican. We take nothing for granted and are working around the clock to meet with as many voters and business owners heading into November 8.”
It should be noted, this polling came prior to yesterday’s breaking story questioning Jane Dittmar’s intent to hide from public consumption an apparent DUI arrest in which minors were involved. Following the release of this information, the Dittmar campaign leveled false accusations in a desperate attempt to implicate the Garrett campaign in this story.
Garrett Campaign spokesman Andrew Griffin responded by saying:
“From the evidence we have seen, Jane Dittmar wrecked her car and was arrested for driving while intoxicated with a minor in the automobile. With regard to Ms. Dittmar’s excuse that her arrest happened ‘before the turn of the century,’ I would say that during that same time frame, Senator Garrett was honorably serving in the United States Army. I cannot reason as to why she is attempting to change the narrative to “sleazy Republicans” rather than owning up to her poor choices. Fortunately, voters of the Fifth District have the opportunity to make the determination as to which candidate uses better judgment on November 8.”
The Garrett campaign reiterated that they have not, and will not use this arrest for TV, radio, or print ads.