Poll Reveals Women and Independents Key to Kaine Victory

For Release: January 13, 2006

Contact: Matt Smyth (434) 243-8466 or Prof. Paul Freedman (434) 924-1372

New Poll Reveals Women and Independents Key to Kaine Victory

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- On the eve of the swearing in of Virginia's 70th governor, a new poll by the University of Virginia Center for Politics shows Governor-elect Tim Kaine bested his opponents in the November 2005 election in all major demographic categories except among Republican Party identifiers.

The post-election survey reveals that the election outcome turned on political Independents, who made up more than a quarter of the electorate and voted 67.4 percent for Kaine. While a majority of both men and women surveyed said they supported Kaine in the November election, the poll uncovered a gender gap of more than 10 percent, with almost 62 percent of women in the survey supporting Kaine, compared with only 52 percent of men.

"It was a clear and decisive victory in nearly every demographic category for Governor-elect Tim Kaine," said Larry Sabato, Director of the UVA Center for Politics. "Women and Independents were the keys to victory in the November election."

The survey also found that an overwhelming majority of Virginians would support a measure allowing a governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia to seek a second consecutive term* and showed an extraordinarily high job approval rating of nearly 75 percent for outgoing Governor Mark Warner.

"It is not surprising, given the remarkable popularity of Governor Warner that most Virginians support a constitutional amendment to allow a governor to serve a second term," said Larry Sabato, Director of the UVA Center for Politics. "The November 2005 gubernatorial election was, in many ways, a vote of confidence in the policies of the Warner administration. Just as their perception of the incumbent governor influenced their vote on Election Day, so too it appears to influence whether they believe a Virginia governor should be permitted to serve a second consecutive term."

"The strength of support for allowing governors to run for re-election is striking," said Paul Freedman, Associate Professor in the Department of Politics at the University of Virginia and Research Director for the Center for Politics survey. "More than two-thirds of Virginians would support allowing governors to run for re-election; only 26.8 percent oppose (the rest say they don't know). Support for easing the one-term limit is strongest among Democrats (75 percent), but even 64 percent of Republicans endorse the notion. Virginia is the only state in the nation that does not permit a governor to serve two consecutive terms. This may be an idea whose time has come."

The Center for Politics Survey, the only post-election survey of its kind conducted in 2005, also provides some greater detail of the choices and demographics of voters who participated in the November 2005 election.

Tim Kaine garnered more than nine out of ten Democratic votes, while Jerry Kilgore received 83.4 percent of the Republican vote. Among all survey respondents, 36.8 percent identified themselves as a Republican; 32.8 percent identified themselves as a Democrat; 28.4 percent identified themselves as an Independent and 2 percent said they did not know. The following chart provides a breakdown of voter support based on gender, race, party affiliation and age.

Kaine

Kilgore

Potts

Other

GENDER

Male

51.6

46.7

1.8

0.0

Female

61.9

35.0

2.4

0.8

RACE

African American

89.9

10.1

0.0

0.0

White

52.4

44.7

2.4

0.5

Asian

81.3

18.7

0.0

0.0

Hispanic

84.0

16.1

0.0

0.0

PARTY AFFILIATION

Republican

13.5

83.4

2.1

1.0

Democrat

96.1

3.9

0.0

0.0

Independent

67.4

28.4

4.3

0.0

AGE

18-24:

57.3

41.0

1.7

0.0

25+:

56.2

41.4

2.1

0.4

The Center for Politics Post Election Survey was commissioned by the UVA Center for Politics and conducted in partnership with the UVA Center for Survey Research. Interviews with 1,181 randomly selected Virginians (including an oversample of young people 18-24 years old) were conducted by telephone over the three weeks following the November 2005 election. The Data have been weighted to adjust for gender and age disparities. The survey has an overall margin of sampling error of +/- 2.85 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

Additional results of the survey will be released in the coming weeks.

*Respondents were asked, “Currently governors in Virginia may not run for re-election and can serve for only one four-year term. Would you favor or oppose letting Virginia governors run for re-election?"