Washington Post Virginia Governor's Race Poll

This Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone September 14-17, 2009, among a random sample of 1,003 likely voters in the Commonwealth of Virginia including users of both conventional and cellular phones. The results from the full survey have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three points. Sampling, data collection and tabulation by TNS of Horsham, Pa.

*= less than 0.5 percent

1. (IF REGISTERED VOTER) I'd like you to rate the chances that you will vote in the governor's election: Are you absolutely certain to vote, will you probably vote, are the chances 50-50, or less than that?

                Certain   Probably  Chances  Less than  Don't think      No 
                to Vote    vote      50/50    50/50    will vote(vol.) opinion
9/17/09  LV       100         0         0        0            0           0
9/17/09  RV        53        19        16        9            3           1
8/14/09  RV        61        16        13        7            2           *
10/26/05 LV       100         0         0        0            0           0 
9/9/05   LV       100         0         0        0            0           0 
9/9/05   RV        68        18         9        4            1           0 
10/25/01 RV        63        19        10        5            2           1
8/23/01  RV        68        16        10        5            1           *
8/27/00  RV        76        14         7        2            1           *

2. Would you say you are following this year's governor's race in the state of Virginia very closely, fairly closely, not too closely, or not closely at all?

                ------Closely------    -----Not closely-----    
                NET   Very   Fairly    NET   Not too  At all  No opinion
9/17/09  LV     84     34      51      15       12       4         *
8/14/09  LV     67     25      42      32       23       9         1
8/14/09  RV     48     17      32      51       30      21         *
10/26/05 LV     87     31      56      13       10       2         *
9/9/05   LV     73     20      53      27       20       7         * 
9/9/05   RV     59     15      44      41       26      15         *    
8/23/01  RV     60     16      44      39       26      13         1
8/27/00  RV     61     21      40      38       25      13         *
6/23/94  RV     74     27      47      27       18       9         *
2/3/94          73     27      46      27       18       9         *
9/93     RV     68     21      47      31       21      10         *
 

3. Thinking ahead to that election, what is the single most important issue in your choice for governor?

                                                                    8/14/09   8/14/09   9/17/09
                                                                      RV        LV        LV
                                         Economy/jobs/unemployment    28        29        27  
                                                         Education     8         7        10
                                         Health care/health reform     8         8         9
                                                             Taxes     8         8         9
                          Transportation/traffic/roads and transit     7         9         7
                                              State budget/deficit     5         6         5     
  Political party/party affiliation/whether Democrat or Republican     3         3         5
                           Ethics/honesty/corruption in government     3         2         4   
                                                          Abortion     2         2         2
Background/character/credibility/education/experience of candidate     1         1         2
                                      Fiscal/fiscal responsibility     1         2         2
                              Energy issues/gas prices/cap & trade     *         *         1                
                                        Environment/global warming     1         1         1  
               Government/Growth of government/government spending     1         2         1
                                                  Guns/Gun control     1         1         1
                                                Obama/Barack Obama     *         *         1
  Constitution/politics/political agenda/doing right for the state     1         1         1
                                Conservative/less liberal ideology     1         1         1
    Human services/people's rights/helping/representing the people     1         2         1
                                                Views/ideas/values     1         2         1
                                             Women's rights/issues    NA        NA         1          
                                    Afghanistan/War in Afghanistan     0         0         *   
                                                             Crime     *         *         *
                                                      Gay marriage     *         *         *
                              Housing/mortgages/affordable housing     1         *         *
                                   Immigration/illegal immigration     *         *         *
                                                  Iraq/War in Iraq     *         1         *   
                                                    Stimulus money     *         *         *
                                                McDonnell's thesis    NA        NA         *
                                                             Other     5         4         3
                                                              None     0         0         *
                                                        No opinion    14         7         6

4. If the election were being held today and the candidates were (Creigh Deeds, the Democrat) and (Bob McDonnell, the Republican), for whom would you vote?

Net Leaned Vote:                Other     Wouldn't       No
             Deeds  McDonnell   (vol.)   vote (vol.)   opinion  
9/17/09 LV    47        51        *          0            2
8/14/09 LV    39        54        1          *            7
8/14/09 RV    40        47        1          3            9  
 

5. (IF NAMED CANDIDATE) Will you definitely vote for (CANDIDATE) in November, or is there a chance you could change your mind and vote for someone else? (IF CHANCE CHANGE MIND) Is there a good chance you'll change your mind or would you say it's pretty unlikely?

 
Deeds:                            --------Change mind--------
                Definitely vote   NET  Good chance   Unlikely     No opinion
9/17/09 LV           72           26       10           16              2
8/14/09 LV           62           33       12           21              5
8/14/09 RV           61           35       15           20              4

McDonnell:                        --------Change mind--------
                Definitely vote   NET  Good chance   Unlikely     No opinion
9/17/09 LV           69           28        7           21              3
8/14/09 LV           59           38       18           21              3
8/14/09 RV           50           46       21           26              4

6. Thinking about his candidacy for governor so far, how enthusiastic are you about (CANDIDATE) -- very enthusiastic, fairly enthusiastic, not too enthusiastic, or not enthusiastic at all?

Among Leaned Deeds/McDonnell Supporters:

               ---Enthusiastic----    --Not enthusiastic---    
               NET   Very   Fairly    NET   Not too  At all  No opinion
a. Deeds       82     22      60      17       14       3         1
b. McDonnell   89     36      53      10        9       1         *

Trend:

a. Deeds     ---Enthusiastic----    --Not enthusiastic---    
             NET   Very   Fairly    NET   Not too  At all   No opinion
9/17/09 LV   82     22      60      17       14       3         1
8/14/09 LV   79     16      63      19       15       4         2
8/14/09 RV   67     12      56      31       22       8         2

b. McDonnell  ---Enthusiastic----    --Not enthusiastic---    
              NET   Very   Fairly    NET   Not too  At all   No opinion
9/17/09 LV    89     36      53      10        9       1         *
8/14/09 LV    79     26      53      18       15       3         3
8/14/09 RV    68     20      48      29       20       9         3

7. Do you think (NAME) views on most issues are (too liberal for you), (too conservative for you), or just about right?

                   Too         Too        Just about     No
                 liberal   conservative      right     opinion 
a. Deeds's         42            6            47          5
b. McDonnell's      7           40            47          5

Trend data:

a. Deeds
               Too         Too        Just about     No
             liberal   conservative      right     opinion 
9/17/09 LV     42            6            47          5
8/14/09 LV     39            7            37         18
8/14/09 RV     32            7            39         22    

b. McDonnell
               Too         Too        Just about     No
             liberal   conservative      right     opinion 
9/17/09 LV      7           40            47          5
8/14/09 LV      6           30            46         18
8/14/09 RV      9           27            38         26


Compare to:

Jerry Kilgore:
                Too           Too          Just about     Don't know       No
              liberal     conservative       right        enough yet*    opinion
10/26/05 LV      8             38              49              NA           5
9/9/05   LV      8             31              47              12           3
9/9/05   RV      8             26              43              19           4

Tim Kaine:
                Too           Too          Just about     Don't know       No
              liberal     conservative       right        enough yet*    opinion
10/26/05 LV     40              6              49              NA           5
9/9/05   LV     31              7              45              13           3
9/9/05   RV     27              7              41              22           4       
*"Don't know enough yet" respondents are those who said they knew "nothing at all"
or "don't know" about the candidate's qualifications to be governor. They were not
asked this question, but are shown as part of the base.

8. Regardless of how you may vote, whom do you trust to do a better job handling [ITEM] -- (Deeds) or (McDonnell)?

                                                           Both     Neither  
                                      Deeds   McDonnell   (vol.)    (vol.)   No opinion
a. Issues of special concern to women  48         38        2         3           9
b. The abortion issue                  44         42        2         4           8
c. Transportation issues               38         46        3         3          10
d. Gun control                         36         47        2         4          11
e. The state budget                    40         49        2         2           7
f. The economy and jobs                43         48        1         4           3
g. Taxes                               39         50        2         4           5
h. Health care                         47         43        2         5           4
i. Education                           47         43        3         2           5
*Full sample asked item a; half sample asked items b-e; other half sample asked items f-i.

Trend data (no trend available for women's issues, state budget, health care or education):

b. The abortion issue
                                  Both     Neither  
             Deeds   McDonnell   (vol.)    (vol.)   No opinion
9/17/09 LV    44         42        2         4           8
8/14/09 LV    34         39        2         6          20
8/14/09 RV    34         34        1         6          24

c. Transportation issues
                                  Both     Neither  
             Deeds   McDonnell   (vol.)    (vol.)   No opinion
9/17/09 LV    38         46        3         3          10
8/14/09 LV    31         43        3         6          17
8/14/09 RV    35         34        3         6          22

d. Gun control
                                  Both     Neither  
             Deeds   McDonnell   (vol.)    (vol.)   No opinion
9/17/09 LV    36         47        2         4          11
8/14/09 LV    27         48        3         5          17
8/14/09 RV    31         38        3         5          22

f. The economy and jobs
                                  Both     Neither  
             Deeds   McDonnell   (vol.)    (vol.)   No opinion
9/17/09 LV    43         48        1         4          3
8/14/09 LV    35         50        2         4          9
8/14/09 RV    38         40        2         4         15

g. Taxes
                                  Both     Neither  
             Deeds   McDonnell   (vol.)    (vol.)   No opinion
9/17/09 LV    39         50        2         4           5
8/14/09 LV    31         50        2         4          12
8/14/09 RV    35         42        2         5          16

9. Regardless of how you may vote, do you think (Deeds) or (McDonnell) [ITEM]?

Among likely voters:                                                       Both     Neither  No
                                                      Deeds   McDonnell   (vol.)    (vol.)   op.
a. would be a more effective leader                    45         50        2         1       2
b. better understands the problems of people like you  46         45        2         4       3
c. is more honest and trustworthy                      36         38       10         8       8
d. more closely shares your values                     43         50        2         2       3
*Half sample asked items a-b; other half sample asked items c-d.

10. In deciding how to vote for governor, what would you say is more important to you -- the candidates' (positions on the issues) or the candidates' (personal values), or would you say they're equally important?

                 Positions     Personal     Equally       No
                 on issues      values     important     opin.
9/17/09   LV         31            6           63          *
10/12/06* LV         34            5           61          *
*"support for U.S. Senate"

11. Do you think (NAME) would rely on his religious beliefs too much, too little or about the right amount when making policy decisions?

Among likely voters:
                       Too     Too      About the       No
                       much   little   right amount   opinion
a. Creigh Deeds          7      15          59          18
b. Bob McDonnell        30       6          54          10

Compare to:

Jerry Kilgore:
                 Too       Too        About the       Don't know       No
                 much     little     right amount     enough yet     opinion
10/26/05 LV       22        10            58               NA          10
9/9/05   LV       21         8            52               12           8
9/9/05   RV       17         9            47               19           7

Tim Kaine:
              Too       Too        About the       Don't know       No
              much     little     right amount     enough yet     opinion
10/26/05 LV    13        13            63               NA          11
9/9/05   LV     7        16            55               13           9
9/9/05   RV     7        15            48               22           8

12. There's been news recently about a report McDonnell wrote as a 34-year-old graduate student in 1989 expressing his views on some social issues and the role of government. How much if anything have you heard about this -- a great deal, a good amount, just some or hardly anything?

              -Great deal/Good amount-   --- Some/Hardly any/None ---
                      Great     Good           Just   Hardly    None      No
              NET     deal     amount    NET   some    any     (vol.)   opinion
9/17/09 LV    46       24        21      54     20      28        6        *

13. In his thesis, McDonnell criticized working mothers and homosexuals as detrimental to families and urged the promotion of traditional values through government. (McDonnell calls this not in-line with his current views) while (Deeds says this shows McDonnell's real positions on these issues). In thinking about your vote for governor, does this thesis make you [more likely] to support McDonnell, [less likely] or won't it affect your vote one way or the other? (IF MORE/LESS) Is that much more/less likely or somewhat more/less likely?

        ---- More likely ----   ---- Less likely ----   Won't      No
             NET   Much   Somewhat   NET   Somewhat   Much   affect   opinion
9/17/09 LV   11      7        4      30        9       21      58        1

14. Changing topics, do you approve or disapprove of the way Tim Kaine is handling his job as governor? Do you approve/disapprove strongly or somewhat?

              -------- Approve --------   ------- Disapprove ------     No
              NET   Strongly   Somewhat   NET   Somewhat   Strongly   opinion
9/17/09  LV   59       27         33      38       17         22         2
8/14/09  LV   51       22         29      45       20         25         4
8/14/09  RV   55       23         32      38       18         20         7 
8/14/09  All  56       21         34      36       18         18         8
9/21/08  RV   66                          25                             9
10/8/07  LV   66                          27                             7
10/8/07  All  63                          25                            12
10/12/06 LV   77                          19                             4

15. Which of the following statements comes closest to your own views: a. We need a governor who can get the state going in a new direction OR b. We need a governor who can keep the state moving in the same direction we're going.

             New direction   Same direction    No opinion
9/17/09  LV       63               35               3
9/9/05   RV       49               49               3
10/25/01 LV       58               38               4
8/23/01  RV       55               42               4
9/16/97  RV       48               48               5
9/93     RV       76               21               3
9/89     RV       58               34               8

16. On another subject, do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as president? Do you approve/disapprove strongly or somewhat?

             -------- Approve --------   ------- Disapprove ------     No   
             NET   Strongly   Somewhat   NET   Somewhat   Strongly   opinion
9/17/09 LV   53       38         15      47        11        36         1
8/14/09 LV   47       32         15      51        10        41         2
8/14/09 RV   57       39         17      41        11        31         2

17. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Obama is handling [ITEM]? Do you approve/disapprove strongly or somewhat?

Among likely voters:
                 -------- Approve --------   ------- Disapprove ------     No   
                 NET   Strongly   Somewhat   NET   Somewhat   Strongly   opinion
a. The economy   52       35         17      47        9         38         1
b. Health care   48       31         17      51        7         43         1
*Half sample asked item a; other half sample asked item b.

Trend:

a. The economy
             -------- Approve --------   ------- Disapprove ------     No   
             NET   Strongly   Somewhat   NET   Somewhat   Strongly   opinion
9/17/09 LV   52       35         17      47        9         38         1
8/14/09 LV   45       28         17      54        8         46         1
8/14/09      52       32         20      47       11         36         2


b. Health care
             -------- Approve --------   ------- Disapprove ------     No   
             NET   Strongly   Somewhat   NET   Somewhat   Strongly   opinion
9/17/09 LV   48       31         17      51        7         43         1
8/14/09 LV   41       24         17      57        5         52         2
8/14/09      49       29         20      48        7         41         3

18. Do you approve or disapprove of the way (ITEM) are doing their job?

Among likely voters:
                                 Approve   Disapprove   No opinion
a. The Democrats in Congress       37          62            1
b. The Republicans in Congress     27          71            2

19. Which comes closer to the way you feel: government reform of the nation's health care system (is necessary to control costs and expand coverage), or government action on health care (will do more harm than good)? Do you feel that way strongly or somewhat?

        ------- Necessary -------   -- More harm than good --
             NET   Strongly   Somewhat   NET   Somewhat   Strongly   No opinion
9/17/09 LV   52       39         12      46        7         39           3
8/14/09 LV   45       33         13      52        8         44           2
8/14/09      50       32         18      47       13         34           2

20. On another subject, do you think abortion should be legal in all cases, legal in most cases, illegal in most cases or illegal in all cases?

                ------ Legal ------   ----- Illegal -----
                       All    Most          Most     All      No
                NET   cases   cases   NET   cases   cases   opinion
9/17/09  LV     58     19      40     39     27      12        3
8/14/09  LV     54     18      37     41     27      14        4
8/14/09  RV     55     17      38     41     26      15        4
8/14/09  All    55     18      37     42     26      16        3
9/21/08  RV     60     22      38     38     25      12        3
6/3/07   RV     56     19      38     39     25      14        5
6/3/07   All    55     18      37     40     25      15        4 
10/26/05 LV     61     21      39     38     28      10        2
9/9/05   LV     54     21      33     43     29      14        2
9/9/05   RV     55     21      35     43     28      15        2  
10/25/01 LV     57     21      36     39     28      11        4
8/23/01  RV     57     21      37     39     27      12        3
10/26/00 LV     58     18      40     38     27      12        4
8/27/00  LV     57     16      40     38     26      12        5
8/27/00  RV     57     18      39     38     26      12        5

21. Considering everything, do you think it would be better or worse for the country if men and women went back to the traditional roles they had in the 1950s, or don't you think it would make a difference? (IF BETTER/WORSE) Do you feel that way STRONGLY, or SOMEWHAT?

             -------- Better --------   --------- Worse --------       No         No
             NET   Strongly  Somewhat   NET   Strongly  Somewhat   difference   opinion
9/17/09 LV   22       15         7      42        7        36          30          5

Compare to National:
             -------- Better --------   --------- Worse --------       No         No
             NET   Strongly  Somewhat   NET   Strongly  Somewhat   difference   opinion
11/23/97     38       NA        NA      34       NA        NA          25          3

22. Which view comes closest to your own: (Government should promote policies and programs discouraging homosexuality.), (Government should promote policies and programs that treat homosexuality as acceptable.), OR Government should not get involved in this issue.

                                                               9/17/09 LV 
Government policies should discourage homosexuality.               11
Government policies should treat homosexuality as acceptable.      19
Government should not get involved in this issue.                  69
No opinion                                                          1

Compare to National:

Q. Which view comes closest to your own: Government should promote policies and
programs discouraging homosexuality, or Government should promote policies and
programs that treat homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle, or Government
should not get involved in this issue?

                                                               9/17/00  8/27/98
Government policies should discourage homosexuality.             16       12
Government policies should treat homosexuality as acceptable.    14       10
Government should not get involved in this issue.                69       76
No opinion                                                        1        2

23. Generally speaking, do you usually think of yourself as (a Democrat), (a Republican), an independent or what? IF NOT DEMOCRAT OR REPUBLICAN: Do you lean more towards the (Democratic Party) or (Republican Party)?

                                                                   --Non-Partisans--
                                                                   Lean   Lean   No
             Democrat  Republican  Independent  Other  No opinion  Dem.   Rep.  Lean
9/17/09  LV     32         29          34         5         *      12     19      8 
9/17/09  RV     34         27          32         5         1      12     15     11 
9/17/09         33         25          33         7         2      12     14     16 
8/14/09  LV     27         34          34         4         1      11     20      8 
8/14/09  RV     31         29          35         4         1      13     17      9 
8/14/09         31         28          37         3         1      15     16     11 
10/25/08 LV     36         28          33         4         *      15     14      8 
10/25/08 RV     36         28          33         4         *      15     13      9 
10/25/08        35         26          31         6         1      14     12     12 
9/21/08  LV     33         28          34         5         1      15     16      8
9/21/08  RV     34         25          35         6         1      15     16     10
9/21/08         33         24          34         7         2      15     15     13
10/8/07  RV     32         29          34         4         1      15     13     11
10/8/07         30         27          38         4         1      18     13     11
6/3/07   RV     33         29          29         4         4      12     11     14
6/3/07          34         27          28         4         6      12     12     16
10/12/06 LV     33         32          32         3         *      14     12      9
10/26/05 LV     33         37          26         3         1      13     10      6
9/9/05   LV     34         37          25         4         *      12     13      5
9/9/05   RV     32         34          29         4         *      13     13      7
10/25/01 LV     31         37          26         5         1      10     12     10
8/23/01  LV     35         38          24         3         *      12     11      4
8/23/01  RV     32         33          29         5         1      15     12      8
10/26/00 LV     33         32          28         6         1      11     13     10
8/27/00  LV     30         36          29         5         1      11     13     10
8/27/00  RV     29         34          32         5         1      12     14     11
10/21/97 LV     31         32          31         5         1      12     14     11
9/16/97  LV     30         31          33         4         1      13     14     11
9/16/97  RV     28         31          35         4         1      14     14     17
6/23/94         29         29          32         8         2      12     15     18
9/28/93  RV     30         30          35         4         1      13     12     10
11/2/89  LV     33         32          31         3         1      NA     NA     NA

24. (ASKED OF REGISTERED VOTERS) Would you say your views on most political matters are liberal, moderate, or conservative?

                                                     Don't think in      
            Liberal    Moderate    Conservative    those terms (vol.)   No opinion
9/17/09  LV    20         44            36                  *                1
8/14/09  LV    20         37            41                  1                1
8/14/09  RV    21         42            35                  1                1
8/14/09        22         43            34                  1                1
10/25/08 LV    19         45            32                  2                2
10/25/08 RV    19         45            32                  2                2
9/21/08  LV    21         46            30                  2                1
9/21/08  RV    22         47            29                  2                1

25. Aside from weddings and funerals, how often do you attend religious services: more than once a week, once a week, once or twice a month, a few times a year, seldom or never?

              ------- Weekly ---------
                                        Once or twice  A few times  
              NET   >1/week   Once/week   per month      a year    Seldom   Never   No op.
9/17/09  LV   44      16         28          18            18        11        9      *
8/14/09  LV   43      15         27          20            18        10        9      *
8/14/09  RV   39      14         25          21            20        11        9      *
8/14/09       37      13         24          20            19        12       11      *
10/25/08 LV   41      14         27          16            20        15        8      *
10/25/08 RV   40      13         26          17            20        15        8      *

26. (ASKED OF REGISTERED VOTERS) Which of the following CATEGORIES best describes your total annual household income before taxes, from all sources?

             -------Less than $50k-------   --------More than $50k--------
             NET   <20k   20-35k   35-50k   NET   50-75k   75-100k   100k+
9/17/09  LV  30      8       9       13     69      18        18       33
8/14/09  LV  26      6       7       13     72      22        16       33
8/14/09  RV  36      9      11       15     62      20        15       27
8/14/09      42     14      12       16     56      18        14       24
10/25/08 LV  36      9      11       16     62      19        14       28
10/25/08 RV  37     10      11       16     61      19        14       27
9/21/08  LV  31      7       8       15     68      19        18       31
9/21/08  RV  36     11       9       16     62      17        17       27
9/21/08      40     13      11       16     58      19        14       25

© The Washington Post Company