October 12, 2005--The televised debate
is over and the race to replace Mark Warner as Virginia Governor
remains too close to call. Republican Jerry Kilgore
attracts 46% of the statewide vote while Democrat Tim Kaine earns 44%.
Two weeks ago,
the two leading candidates were tied at 45%.
Jerry Kilgore has been at 45% or 46% in
four of the six Rasmussen Reports Virginia election polls this year.
Once, he was above that at 47% and once below that at 43%.
Kaine's support was at 39% to 41% in the
first four Rasmussen Reports Virginia election polls. His numbers
have improved a bit for the two most recent election polls.
Independent candidate Russell Potts
attracts just one percent (1%) of the statewide vote.
Just 53% of Virginia's Likely Voters
have read, seen, or heard any news stories about Sunday night's
televised debate. A plurality of those had watched little or none of
the debate as it was televised.
Among those who had heard about the
debate, 40% thought Kaine won while 34% thought Kilgore did a better
job. Seventy-six percent (76%) of Kaine supporters thought their man
won. Seventy-three (73%) of Kilgore supporters thought the same
about their candidate.
Just 11% of all voters consider the
debate very important in terms of impacting their vote.
Since the election is drawing closer,
Rasmussen Reports made a slight change in the methodology for this
survey compared to earlier Virginia election polls.
The methodological change had little
impact on the relative support for Kilgore and Kaine, but it sharply
diminished support for Russell Potts. Seventy-nine percent (79%) of
those who initially said they would vote for Potts answered a
follow-up question indicating they would vote for either Kilgore or
Seventy-one percent (71%) of Virginia
voters Approve of the way that Warner is performing his duties as
Governor. Although the state typically leans Republican in national
elections, just 50% of Virginia voters Approve of the way President
Bush is performing his job.
Fifty-three percent (53%) of Virginia
voters have a favorable opinion of Kilgore. Fifty-six percent (56%)
say the same about Kaine. Potts is viewed favorably by 28%.
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 500 Likely
Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports October 10-11, 2005. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/-
percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. 39% of survey
respondents were Republican, 35% Democrat, and 26% unaffiliated (see Methodology)