A Democratic candidate running for Virginia’s State House is down by over 10 points among likely voters in her district in the wake of a scandal over her performance of online sex shows for “tips” with her husband.
Mr. Owen, a businessman, previously held a four-point lead among those voters when the same polling outfit conducted a survey of the election in August prior to The Washington Post first reporting Mrs. Gibson’s online sex shows.
Her unfavorability numbers have spiked from 12.5% to 45.2% among likely voters in the district.
Her favorability rating also has dipped between August and September, though not by nearly so much — from 28.1% to 27.3%.
According to campaign filings, the Cygnal poll was commissioned by Virginia Speaker of the House Todd Gilbert’s Republican Commonwealth Leadership PAC, which also commissioned 57th District polls in August and May.
The Washington Times reached out to the Gibson campaign for comment Tuesday evening, but did not immediately hear back.
Republicans have a slim three-seat majority in the state House and five seats are vacant, while Democrats hold the majority in the state Senate by a 4-seat margin.
Mrs. Gibson and her attorney have said the posting of the explicit videos to other public websites is revenge porn that violates state law. She said it represents “the worst gutter politics.”
“It won’t intimidate me, and it won’t silence me,” Mrs. Gibson said in a previous statement.
“My political opponents and their Republican allies have proven they’re willing to commit a sex crime to attack me and my family because there’s no line they won’t cross to silence women when they speak up,” she claimed.
Mr. Owen, her Republican opponent, said he became aware of the videos only after the media reported them.
“I’m sure this is a difficult time for Susanna and her family, and I’m remaining focused on my campaign,” he said in a statement.
Neither the Virginia state party nor the House Democratic caucus has publicly called for Mrs. Gibson to end her campaign after it was revealed that she had sex with her husband in live videos posted on a pornographic website. The couple asked viewers in mid-filming to pay them money in exchange for carrying out specific sex acts.
But neither group has publicly declared how much support — financial or otherwise — Mrs. Gibson can expect moving forward.
The 57th District lies northwest of Richmond and is considered one of the key swing districts in Virginia’s upcoming state legislative races.
The Cygnal poll surveyed 325 likely voters in the 57th District between Sept. 19-21, with a margin of error of plus-or-minus 5.4%.
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