HD-35: Baldwin “leads” in internal poll

By VA Blogger

Roy Baldwin released a poll for the Democratic primary in HD-35, the seat Steve Shannon is vacating to run for Attorney General. The poll was conducted April 13 – 16, and had a sample size of 400:

Roy Baldwin: 11%
John Carroll: 7%
Mark Keam: 5%
Esam Omeish: 2%

(The Baldwin campaign declined to send me any more information about the poll.)

Two things: First, while Baldwin “leads” the field, his lead over Carroll is within the margin of error. And with 75% of the Democratic population still undecided, this poll shows that none of the candidates have an advantage thus far.

Second, while Celinda Lake is a very good pollster, Mark Keam has tapped into the Korean population in Vienna. That community isn’t particularly large, but it’s enough to gain a lot of ground in a primary. It’s likely that a lot of Keam’s supporters are voters who don’t typically vote in local election primaries, and might not be included in a standard “likely voter” sample. It doesn’t mean the poll is wrong, or that Baldwin isn’t “leading”, but I think it’s understating Keam’s support.

Then again, with a contested Democratic primary at the top of the ticket, turnout is bound to be higher, minimizing that effect. And with 75% of the population undecided, this is truly anyone’s race.


  • Ron says:

    So if Republicans wanted to play “Operation Chaos,” for whom should they vote?

  • Crimson Fist says:

    Definetely Omeish, for those who don’t remember, he’s the guy who made comments about “Jihad” and promptly resigned from the state immigration commission once the statements were made public:


    This is one of the best chances for a pickup for Republicans this year as its an open seat, making it anyone’s game. Jim Hyland is also a very strong candidate for this area and his campaign has already been very active in both fundraising and knocking on doors, including several upcoming walks this weekend with the McDonnell campaign in Oakton and Vienna.

  • Lovettsville Lady says:

    I hope you are right but that district has become rather blue of late. Let’s remember too that Jim Hyland lost that district when he ran against Steve Shannon. But, I think Jim has a better chance this time because none of these guys are well known and probably none as nice as Steve Shannon appeared to be to voters.

  • Not John S. Mosby says:

    Mark Keam will be the candidate, and will easily win the seat in the general election. That district has been responsible for a lot of new members on FCDC in the past year or two, and has gotten very Democratic.

  • VA Blogger says:

    Hyland also lost a bid for Providence Supervisor in 2003.

  • Crimson Fist says:

    True, but the previous race was a challenger races against strong, entrenched incumbent. Considering the fact that Shannon pretty much pushed every possible Dem opponent out, he’s clearly a force on his own.

    The 35th is an open seat now, which changes the dynamics some. There’s no incumbent name ID, money or organization to fight against like the last time. Herrity and Cook are good examples, as many did not give them a chance yet both defied expectations with Pat ended up getting within single digits countywide as a Republican (which had not happened in quite a while) and Cook defeated an opponent with six times more cash on hand and stronger name id from having run countywide before.

    It’ll be a tough fight, the district is a very formidable one, but with good fundraising , organization and getting out there as much as possible, Hyland can win the seat.

  • Larry Sabato's Hairpiece says:

    What kind of nut touts a poll with them at 11%, even if they are in the lead? That’s not a lead. It’s a potential statistical blip. I cannot imagine a decent pollster like Celinda told the campaign to put these numbers out. Utterly incompetent. Why not just put out a statement that says “We did a poll and basically anyone can win this”

  • VA Blogger says:


    This is the same campaign that emailed the three of us here at TC after I posted my Q1 fundraising wrap-ups, taking issue with the fact that Mark Keam seemed to be the favorite, simply because he had 1) raised more money, 2) had more money on hand, 3) didn’t self-fund any of his money, and 4) had more individual donors than Baldwin.

    The Baldwin campaign is rather desperate for any indication that they’re not going to lose to Keam—can’t really blame them on that front—but that causes them to reach and tout any bit of good news.

  • This district is winnable. Jim Hyland is a good candidate, and he has the benefit of no opposition so he can focus on the general election. None of the Dem candidates have Steve Shannon’s pedigree, and they’re all throwing punches at one another.

    As Crimson said, I would like to see Omeish be their nominee because I think he’s unelectable. I won’t be able to cross over and vote for him because I’ll be on my honeymoon, but I did sign his petition to get on the ballot. His cousin lives across the street from me.

    The district may have been trending blue, but there are some bright spots. As I recall, a good portion went for Pat Harrity, and the numbers weren’t bad for Bush in 2004 and Allen in 2006.

    To be honest, before we bought the house I checked all this stuff, because I didn’t want to move into intractable Dem territory. I think we can pull this win off.

  • Ron says:


    Congratulations on your wedding and have a safe trip for your honeymoon. Maybe you (and your bride) can vote absentee?

  • Ron says:


    Congratulations on your wedding and have a safe trip for your honeymoon. Maybe you (and your bride) can vote absentee?

  • Thanks Ron. And while I don’t generally have a problem crossing over, voting absentee for it is too much trouble. 🙂

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