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Virginia Governor's Race Still Neck-and-Neck, Poll Shows

Washingtonpost.com Staff
October 1997

A Mason-Dixon Political/Media Research poll on the Virginia governor's race found the candidates in a dead heat in October, with each holding 43 percent of the vote. It also showed name recognition for both candidates -- former state attorney general James S. Gilmore (R) and Lt. Gov. Donald S. Beyer Jr. (D)-- has improved since May, with Gilmore making the biggest improvements.

The copyrighted poll was conducted Oct. 7-8, with 820 likely Virginia voters interviewed by telephone. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent.

Detailed responses follow:

General Election Matchup:
If the election were held today, who would you choose?

Beyer (D) Gilmore (R) Undecided
October 1997 43% 43% 14%
September 1997 43% 44% 13%
July 1997 42% 43% 15%
May 1997 41% 43% 16%


Do You Recognize the Name?

   Oct. 1997       Sept. 1997       July 1997       May 1997   
   Yes       No       Yes       No       Yes       No       Yes       No   
Gilmore (R) 95% 5% 91% 9% 91% 9% 86% 14%
Beyer (D) 95% 5% 95% 5% 93% 7% 91% 9%


Do You Have a Favorable or Unfavorable View of the Candidates?

Oct. 1997 Sept. 1997
Fav.    Unfav.    Neutral    Fav.    Unfav.    Neutral   
Gilmore     40% 27% 28% 32% 17% 42%
Beyer     41% 22% 32% 39% 22% 34%
July 1997 May 1997
Fav.    Unfav.    Neutral    Fav.    Unfav.    Neutral   
Gilmore     32% 17% 42% 31% 15% 40%
Beyer     36% 21% 36% 34% 21% 36%



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