I don't know if this was blogged here yet, but this is really good news. Tim Kaine has apparently opened some daylight in his race with Jerrry Kilgore for the Governors seat in Virginia. According to a new Roanoke college poll Kaine now leads 44 to 36 with likely voters, and 48 -38 with most likely votershttp://www.prnewswire.com/...=

SALEM, Va., Nov. 3 PRNewswire -- Democratic gubernatorial nominee Tim
Kaine has opened an eight-point lead (44%-36%) over Republican nominee Jerry
Kilgore according to a poll conducted by The Center for Community Research at
Roanoke College. Independent candidate Russ Potts garnered the support of five


percent of those surveyed.  The Poll also found that the Lieutenant Governor's
race is a virtual dead heat with Leslie Byrne (D) holding a statistically
insignificant one-point lead over Bill Bolling (R) (33%-32%), while Robert
McDonnell (R) enjoyed a five-point lead (39%-34%) over Creigh Deeds (D) in the
race for Attorney General.
    The Poll includes interviews conducted with 408 likely voters (registered
voters who said they were likely to vote) in the Old Dominion between October
23 and October 30. The Poll has a margin of error of + 5 percent.
    The percentage of undecided voters remains very high this late in the
campaign -- 14% of likely voters have yet to make a decision in the contest
for Governor.  Even higher percentages remain undecided in the Lieutenant
Governor's race (33%) and in the contest for Attorney General (26%).  Among
decided voters, 84% of Kaine supporters and 82% of Kilgore supporters say it
is very likely that they will vote for their candidate.  Only 26% of the
respondents have paid a great deal of attention to the campaign, and 48%
reported having paid some attention.
    Applying a more restrictive definition of likely voter (registered, self-
reported "very likely" to vote, and voted in 2004) increases the Kaine lead to
48%-38% (N=308), with a 5.6% margin of error.  The lead for Byrne over Bolling
(35%-34%) remains at one percent, and McDonnell's margin over Deeds is also
unchanged (40%-35%) at five percent with the more restrictive definition of
likely voters.

    Who is Undecided
    Almost two-thirds (65%) of those who are undecided said they are very
likely to vote, and a similar percentage (65%) are women.  Forty-two percent
have paid little or no attention to the campaign.  A majority (58%) reported
voting for George W. Bush in 2004 and Mark Warner in 2001 (53%).  Almost two-
thirds (65%) approve of the job done by Mark Warner as Governor, and 40%
approve of the job done by George W. Bush as President.
    Undecided voters are more likely to be Moderate (41%) and Independent
(28%). Conservatives comprise 31% of those who are undecided, while
Republicans are 20% of that total.  Liberals (13%) and Democrats (16%) account
for fewer of those who have yet to make up their mind.

    Sources of Support
    Kaine leads among virtually all demographic subgroups.  Of greatest
importance, he leads among self-described political Moderates (62%-17%) and
among Independents (37%-18%).  Kaine and Kilgore split the white vote, but
Kaine leads heavily among African-Americans.  Kaine leads in every age group,
and his largest lead is among those 60 or older (50%-33%).  He also enjoys
large leads in Northern Virginia (52%-29%) and Tidewater (45%-32%), has a
small lead in the Shenandoah Valley, and is tied in Southside and Southwest
Virginia.  Kilgore leads in Central Virginia.
    Kilgore leads only among Republicans, Conservatives, those who have earned
a bachelor's degree, and respondents with annual family incomes between
$35,000 and $50,000 and between $75,000 and $100,000. Kaine leads among those
with an income over $100,000.

    Issues in the Campaign
    Character/moral values, taxes and education were identified as the most
important issues in the governor's race by 17%, 15% and 13% of the
respondents, respectively.  No other specific issue was mentioned as most
important by more than 10%.  Transportation was named by seven percent of the
    Kilgore has an advantage (44%-38%) among those who identified
character/moral values as the most important issue.  Respondents who thought
education was most important favored Kaine (62%-18%), while those who felt
taxes were the primary issue supported Kilgore (47%-30%).  The relatively few
likely voters who named transportation as most important favored Kaine by
    Respondents were offered several alternatives with regard to two of the
major issues in the campaign-transportation and taxes.  A plurality (48%)
said that the $1.5 billion tax package passed in 2004 was necessary to improve
services, while just over a third (36%) said government should find other ways
to improve services.  As expected, those who supported the tax package support
Kaine (58%-20%), while those who opposed it prefer Kilgore (55%-29%).  Four
choices were offered on road improvements -- shifting funds from other areas
to fund road improvements (25%), improving highways as current funds allow
(22%), toll roads (21%), and raising taxes earmarked for highways (21%).
Those who prefer taxes or tolls are about twice as likely to support Kaine;
those who prefer to shift funds support Kilgore by 51%-30%; and those who want
to improve roads as funds allow are evenly split.

    Warner and Bush
    Governor Mark Warner remains very popular in the Commonwealth, with an
overall approval rating of 72%.  At the same time, President George W. Bush's
overall approval rating is 38%.  Kaine does significantly better than Kilgore
(51%-30%) among those who approve of the job Warner is doing as Governor.
Kilgore fares even better among those who approve of Bush (65%-18%).

    "These results indicate the Kaine campaign is gaining momentum," said Dr.
Harry Wilson, the director of the Center for Community Research.  "His lead is
substantial and it runs through all segments of the population.  Recent polls
have shown him gaining support."
    "Kaine's major concern at this point should be the high percentage of
undecided voters," Wilson said. "It is quite possible that many of those will
not vote because they have paid little attention to the campaign thus far, and
there's not much time left.  Jerry Kilgore's only advantage seems to be on the
tax issue, and he's hammered away at that as much as is humanly possible."
    "The down-ticket races remain very close," Wilson said. "In the lieutenant
governor's race, Byrne's lead is insignificant.  It is a statistical dead
heat, and it shows the highest percentage of undecided voters.  At this point,
Bob McDonnell is the bright spot for Republicans, although his lead over
Creigh Deeds for attorney general is within the poll's margin of error, and
one-fourth of the likely voters are still undecided."
    "In many ways these poll results are remarkably similar to those from a
poll taken at the same time in the 2001 gubernatorial race," Wilson said. "The
strengths and weaknesses of Tim Kaine are similar to those of Mark Warner, and
those of Jerry Kilgore largely mirror those of Mark Earley.  Important
differences are that Kaine can ride the coattails of a very popular Democratic
governor, and Kilgore may be hurt by President Bush's low approval rating."

Originally posted to pollbuster on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 06:56 PM PST.

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