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Waiting for the race to pop,#8217; Oct. 19, 2005 By Andy Prutsok 06/03/2006 A new statewide poll released late Tuesday shows the race for Virginia#8217;s governor to still be a toss-up. The poll, oddl

A new statewide poll released late Tuesday shows the race for Virginia’s governor to still be a toss-up.

The poll, oddly enough sponsored by the manufacturer of Johnnie Walker scotch, shows Democrat Tim Kaine to be leading among registered voters within the margin of error and Republican Jerry Kilgore to be leading within the margin of error against extremely likely voters.

Frankly, the surprises me somewhat. I fully expected Kilgore’s death penalty assault and Hitler spouting to break the back of the Kaine campaign and the fact that Kaine’s numbers remains strong a weak into the Kilgore’s offensive offensive speaks well of the Virginia electorate.

Could it possibly be that we’re now as concerned about responsible government and real issues as we are about hot-button, emotional ploys that have no real bearing on the direction our state will take? Nah, couldn’t be.

The poll notes, though, that the campaign is dynamic and could still “pop” for one candidate or the other.

On Monday, the Daily Press endorsed Kaine, citing his risky proposal to attack the transportation problem by giving localities the power to control growth. These adequate public facilities ordinances that allow localities to delay residential developments indefinitely until adequate infrastructure is in place to support the development, is the only low-tax way to confront the roads problem. Further, the city of Suffolk has been a leader in lobbying the General Assembly for to implement them.

The proposal is risky for Kaine because APF is opposed by the shelter industry, which showers more money on politicians in Virginia than any other group. I imagine the Kilgore campaign can anticipate a huge infusion of cash during the past couple weeks that could swing the race.

Kilgore’s proposal to deal with the problem is to pass the buck, allowing localities to hold referendums on tax increases to deal with their transportation problems. Not real leadership, there.

Anyway, here’s the report’s press release. It should be an interesting couple weeks for political observers as this thing plays out.

NEW YORK n October 18, 2005 n The Virginia governor’s race is effectively tied in a new Diageo/Hotline poll released today.  Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tim Kaine has a two-point lead among registered voters n within the margin of error n and Republican gubernatorial candidate Jerry Kilgore has a one-point edge among extremely likely voters (42% to 41%).

 

The poll of 500 registered voters, conducted by Financial Dynamics with analysis by Ed Reilly (D) and Ed Rollins (R), found overall support at 40% for Kaine, 38% for Kilgore, and 5% for Independent gubernatorial candidate Russ Potts, while 13% of voters are undecided.  Kaine leads Kilgore among independents (33% to 23%) and members of his own party, while Kilgore has comparatively lower support among members of his party; 86% of Democrats support Kaine, while 70% of Republicans support Kilgore.

 

&uot;To describe this race as a ‘dead heat’ is an understatement. Both candidates, while essentially tied, have interesting opportunities to pull this off as there is evidence inside the numbers that supports this race ‘popping’ for one candidate or the other,” said Chuck Todd, Editor-in-Chief of The Hotline.  A preliminary analysis indicates Virginia’s undecided voters are concentrated among voters between 35 and 54, women, non-whites and residents of the Richmond Metro, Shenandoah/Piedmont and Hampton Roads regions.  The poll also found the candidates have an equal favorability rating (42%) and similar name recognition (about 90% of voters have heard of both candidates).

 

With three weeks to go, voters are clearly engaged in the race.  81% of voters say they have “a lot” or “some” interest in the race and 73% say they have seen an advertisement for one of the candidates.  Exactly one third of voters say they have watched or listened to some of the candidate debates. 

 

“There is an unusually high intensity among Democratic voters for an off-year election,” said Todd.  “If that intensity builds over the next three weeks, high Democratic turnout could be a major factor in the race,” he added.  More Democrats say they have “a lot” of interest in the race (60%) than Republicans (49%) or Independents (47%).

 

Republicans and Democrats agree on their top priority for the next Governor: education.  Overall, voters cite education and transportation/gas prices as their top priorities for the next Governor (30% and 24%, respectively).  Despite the recent focus on the death penalty during the campaign, only two percent of voters said it should be the top priority for the next Governor.