Public Policy Polling has a new survey of Virginia, site of the most competitive off-year political races for 2013, and it shows what pretty much everyone else has found: a close governor’s race that’s something of an unpopularity contest. They show Terry McAuliffe with a small (5%) but steady lead, thanks to the really bad image Ken Cuccinelli has with indie voters, 51% of whom give Cooch an unfavorable rating (compared to 34% for T-Mac), which translates into a 39-28 McAuliffe lead in that voter segment.

But given what we’ve learned recently about the background and views of Cooch’s running mate, Bishop E.W. Jackson, what jumped out at me is that 71% of Virginia voters say they don’t know enough about the man to express an opinion of him (among those who do, his favorable/unfavorable ratio of 9/20 is not a real good sign). That is going to change between now and November, if only because Jackson has provided enough negative ammunition to choke an entire oppo research team. Yes, Virginians are going to know the good Bishop extremely well by election day, and in a close race, that may matter quite a bit.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.