November 4, 2005--Heading into the final
weekend of Election 2005, Democrat Tim Kaine has a narrow lead over
Republican Jerry Kilgore in the race to be Virginia's next Governor.
The latest Rasmussen
Reports election poll shows Kaine with 49% of the vote while Kilgore
attracts 46%. This is the first time all year that either
candidate has reached 49% in a Rasmussen Reports poll.
The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was
conducted November 2. The survey's margin of sampling error is +/- 3
percentage points, with a 95% level of confidence.
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State Senator Russell Potts, a
Republican running as an independent, currently earns just 2% of the
Last week, Kaine
was ahead by just two percentage points, 46% to 44%. The candidates
have been within three points of each other in six consecutive polls
conducted since Labor Day.
This is the fourth straight 2005 Virginia
election poll with "leaners" included in the totals. Leaners
are those who initially do not express a preference for either major
party candidate but lean one way or the other when asked a follow-up
Without leaners, Tim Kaine has a
one-point edge, 46% to 45%, over Jerry Kilgore.
Kaine has clearly benefited from his
relationship with current Governor, Mark Warner. Warner continues to
hold a 72% Job Approval Rating in the current poll.
Voters are equally divided as to whether
they trust Kaine or Kilgore more when it comes to managing the
state's economy. Forty-six percent (46%) prefer Kilgore on taxes
while 43% prefer Kaine.
Half of all voters (51%) say Kilgore is
closer to their views on the Death Penalty. Thirty-three percent
(33%) say Kaine holds an opinion closer to their own.
However, the Kilgore commercials on the
death penalty may not have helped his campaign. Eighty-two percent
(82%) of Likely Voters say they saw the commercial. Of those who did,
26% said it made them more likely to vote for Kilgore while 36% said
they were more likely to vote for Kaine because of the ad.
Among those not affiliated with either
major party, 15% say the ad made them more likely to support
Kilgore. Thirty-three percent (33%) said it pushed them towards
Kaine earns 89% of votes from Democrats
and has a nine point advantage among unaffiliated voters. Kilgore
earns 85% of the Republican votes.
Thirty-seven percent (37%) of voters say
they plan to vote for Kaine and are certain they will not change
their mind. An identical number plan to vote for Kilgore and are
certain they will not change their mind.
In six of the last eight Rasmussen
Reports election polls in Virginia, Jerry Kilgore has attracted
between 44% and 46% of the vote. One he was a point above that
range, and once a point below.
In the last four Virginia election
polls, Kaine has been in that same range (44% to 46%) every time.
However, in the preceding four polls, he was in the 39% to 41%
Overall, Kilgore is viewed favorably by
53% of Virginia voters and unfavorably by 42%. For Kaine, the
numbers are 56% favorable and 42% unfavorable.
Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm
specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of
public opinion polling information.
Rasmussen Reports was the nation's most accurate
polling firm during the Presidential election and the only one to
project both Bush and Kerry's vote total within half a percentage
point of the actual outcome.
During Election 2004, RasmussenReports.com was
also the top-ranked public opinion research site on the web. We had
twice as many visitors as our nearest competitor and nearly as many
as all competitors combined.
Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen
Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.
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The telephone survey of 1,000 Likely
Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports November 2, 2005.
The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 3
percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.