Tuesday, October 20, 2009

McDonnell Expands Lead in Virginia Governor's Race

/PRNewswire/ -- Two weeks before Virginia's voters cast their ballots, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell has an 8-point lead over Democratic opponent Creigh Deeds, according to a statewide poll conducted October 18-19 by Clarus Research Group.

In the latest poll, McDonnell leads Democrat Creigh Deeds 49 to 41 percent with 10 percent undecided.

An earlier Clarus Poll, taken September 10-14, showed McDonnell leading Deeds by 5 points, posting a 42-37 percent margin with 20 percent undecided.

"So far in the general election, Deeds has failed to gain sustained momentum," said Ron Faucheux, president of Clarus. "Over the past five weeks, McDonnell has expanded his lead as he's weathered attacks on his record as a social conservative."

"Since our last poll in mid-September, McDonnell has gained 7 points and Deeds has gained 4 points," said Faucheux. "While anything can happen between now and Election Day, the fundamentals favor McDonnell."

"Compared to five weeks ago, Deeds has increased his support in Northern Virginia and in the Southeast/Central part of the state. But larger gains by McDonnell more than offset those by Deeds. McDonnell's major gains came from independents statewide and voters in the Southwest/Western region," added Faucheux.

The poll found that the major motivation for Deeds' voters is their support for the Democratic Party while the primary motivation for McDonnell's supporters is because they like him personally.

Clarus Research Group is nonpartisan polling and research firm based in Washington, D.C. The poll was taken by Clarus for its own use and was not paid for or sponsored, by any client, candidate or political party committee.

The survey, which was conducted by live telephone interviewers October 18-19, 2009, had a sample of 605 Virginia voters and a margin or error of +/- 4 percent. Trial heat results were based on likely voters who said they were definitely or possibly going to vote in the November 3, 2009 elections. Voters who said they were definitely not going to vote were excluded from the sample for the trial heats.

The Clarus Poll found:

-- Despite heavy Democratic attacks on McDonnell's views on the role of
women in society, McDonnell now edges Deeds among women by one point,
45-44 percent. McDonnell posts a sizable 14-point lead among men
-- Since the mid-September poll, Deeds has gained 4 points among women
while McDonnell has gone up 5 points. Among men, Deeds gained 3 points
over the past five weeks while McDonnell jumped 8 percent.
-- McDonnell now has a strong 14-point advantage among Independent
voters, topping Deeds 50-36 percent. In the mid-September Clarus
Poll, McDonnell led Deeds among this critical swing vote group by half
his current margin, 7 points.
-- McDonnell leads Deeds in every major demographic group in the
Commonwealth except Northern Virginians, voters under 30 and African
-- Deeds holds a massive 72-point lead among African Americans, winning
this vote 79-7 percent. He beats McDonnell 50-43 percent in Northern
Virginia and 48-41 percent among voters 18-29.
-- McDonnell leads white voters by a solid 26 points, 58-32 percent. He
also carries the Southeastern/Central part of the state 45-42 percent
and the Southwest/Western region by a thumping 28 points, 57-29
-- Among voters 65 and older, McDonnell beats Deeds by a wide 54-37
percent margin.
-- McDonnell's expanded statewide lead is largely attributable to his
increased support in the Southwest/Western part of the state, where he
nearly doubled his mid-September 15-point lead to a 28-point advantage
-- Regionally, Deeds has improved his position in Northern Virginia since
the mid-September poll, going from 45 percent to 50 percent while
McDonnell has moved from 40 percent to 43 percent in the region. Deeds
has improved his support in the Southeastern/Central part of the
state, going from 36 percent to 42 percent while McDonnell has
increased his strength from 41 percent to 46 percent.
-- McDonnell leads Republicans 89-4 percent. Deeds wins Democrats 86-6
-- Thirty-seven percent of McDonnell's voters said the major reason
they're supporting him is because they like him. That was followed by
26 percent saying they're for McDonnell because they want to support
the Republicans, 10 percent who want to oppose the Democrats and 10
percent who dislike Deeds.
-- Thirty-eight percent of Deeds' voters said the major reason they're
for him is to support the Democrats. That was followed by those who
like Deeds (25 percent), those who don't like McDonnell (18 percent),
and those who want to oppose the Republicans (5 percent).
-- Fifty-one percent of voters who remain undecided in the gubernatorial
race said they don't know enough about the candidates to make a
decision and 24 percent said they have doubts about both candidates.
-- The poll also found that Republicans have the edge in the other two
statewide races. Republican Bill Bolling leads Democrat Jody Wagner
for lieutenant governor, 42-35 percent with 23 percent undecided.
Republican Ken Cuccinelli leads Democrat Steve Shannon 41-33 percent
for Attorney General with 26 percent undecided.

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