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Sunday, July 24, 2005

VA-Gov: Dead Heat

Posted by DavidNYC

Mason-Dixon has a new poll out in the Virginia Governor's race (likely voters, no trendlines):

Timothy Kaine (D): 38
Jerry Kilgore (R): 37
Russell Potts (I): 9
Undecided: 16
(MoE: ±4%)

Mason-Dixon did poll this race once before, but the poll is so old (Sept. 2004) that I don't think you can properly call it a trendline (plus it didn't include Potts). But for your edification, it showed Kilgore on top, 40-35, with 25% undecided at the time.

Russell Potts is a Republican-turned-independent who is pissed at the wingnut's seizure of his own party. He's clearly biting into Kilgore's support. However, this is the first poll I've seen which shows the race this tight, and also the first in which Potts has really shown up on the radar. That's not to say it's wrong - just that it's an outlier and bears close watching.

For example, SUSA had the race at 49-39-5 (Kilgore-Kaine-Potts) at the end of June. And Rasmussen had it at 47-41-4 (Kilgore-Kaine-Other) just ten days ago. As always, you can't directly compare polls from different outfits, given that every firm uses a different methodology and asks different questions. However, two out of three recent polls show Kilgore with a decent-to-sizable lead - as lawyers would say, this fact goes to the weight of the evidence.

Posted at 05:39 PM in Virginia | Technorati


One thing to note is that M-D has a very good track record with polling statewide races. Charlie Cook notes that "no one polls the states like Mason-Dixon" and Larry Sabato notes that M-D "has never failed [him]". While it does merit caution, it would b wrong to peg it as an outlier, especially when the other polls are done by polling firms that lack M-D's record of success in this area.

Posted by: Corran [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 25, 2005 09:18 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

The SUSA and Rasmussen polls are robo-polls, and they had very strange methodology. The most recent Rasmussen poll sampled totally differently by party ID than the previous poll by the same firm. My guess is they start making calls, and when they get a certain number, the poll is done and they publish. The polls are being done by small-market TV stations who just want a cheap poll to turn into a story - they're not looking for accuracy.

That said, we'll probably see another credible poll that puts Kilgore in the lead before this race is over.

But it's also clear to people in Virginia that Jerry Kilgore is a lousy candidate whose refusal to debate the independent, to debate on TV, etc. is hurting him. So is the Roberts nomination, which is making the loss of Roe v. Wade protections a real fear for VA women. Doug Wilder won in 1989 partially because there was a fear at the time that Roe would be overturned, and suburban women came out for him as a result.

Posted by: Can of Whup-Ass [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 25, 2005 01:57 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment