Thursday, October 22, 2009

Would Kaine do better?

Virginia voters think their Governors should be allowed to run for reelection. But they wouldn't necessarily return the current one if they had that option.

57% think the state's chief executive should be able to seek a second consecutive term with 35% opposed. Democrats are strongly in favor of the idea, 85-12. Independents narrowly support it, 47-44, and Republicans oppose it by a small margin, 45-44.

Asked though who they would support in a Tim Kaine-Bob McDonnell contest the Republican leads 51-43, a result not terribly dissimilar from his 52-40 advantage over Creigh Deeds.

It's not a perfect comparison because if Kaine was running he might be doing a better job of engaging the Democratic base and getting them out to the polls than Deeds is doing. Still, it shows that in a tough political climate for the party any Democratic candidate this side of Mark Warner might have difficulty defeating McDonnell.

Kaine's main improvement relative to Deeds is with independents- he trails 54-39 compared to a 60-31 deficit for this year's nominee.

Full results here


Anonymous said...

I didn't expect McDonnell to be leading Kaine.

I guess Virginia is very angry that Kaine has pretty much abdictaed his duties as governor.

Jayant Reddy said...

I'm sorry but a test poll on Kaine-McDonnell right now is worthless. You're testing a guy who's been on the stump, on the air, and all over the ground, ACTUALLY CAMPAIGNING ALL YEAR, against a lame duck not running for anything. That's just not a valid measure of where voters ACTUALLY would be if this was their choice. To say Kaine might better fire up the base than Deeds if actually running is laughably understated. If he was actually running at all, he would poll better than this test poll shows.

I remember when at one point last fall Rasmussen tested Obama vs. Bush, and of course Obama "won" 53-33. If Bush actually could and did run for a 3rd term, that poll would be a lot closer...Obama on top for sure under the circumstances, but a lot closer than 20 points.

Almost any credible actual candidate for public office will win a test poll against virtually anyone who isn't running for anything.

If you want a real sense of how Kaine would fare, look at his approval rating, and that's very close to the vote share he'd actually get. Incumbent Governors running for reelection rarely perform too far off their job approval rating. This same PPP poll puts him at 46-39, below 50 but still plus-7, and almost all other polls put his job approval in the 50s. That shows Kaine almost certainly would be leading McDonnell right now, assuming a competent campaign which is a fair assumption given Kaine's past track record.

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