Sen. Tim Kaine holds double-digit leads over Republican nominee Corey Stewart among both registered and likely voters, according to a new University of Mary Washington statewide survey.
The survey, conducted September 4-9 for UMW by the national research firm SSRS, found that Kaine had a 51 percent to 33 percent margin among registered voters and a 52 percent to 36 percent margin among likely voters. Libertarian candidate Matt Waters received 5 percent support in both subsets of Virginians.
Among all respondents, Kaine held a 49 percent to 30 percent advantage. The remaining respondents were uncertain or declined to express a preference.
“The latest Mary Washington survey demonstrates that Tim Kaine remains popular in Virginia,” said Stephen J. Farnsworth, professor of political science at the University of Mary Washington and director of its Center for Leadership and Media Studies. “But any statewide election in ‘purple’ Virginia is likely to tighten up as the contest draws nearer.”
About one-third of those surveyed said that President Trump would be a major factor in their Senate vote, and Kaine had the support of those voters by a 60 percent to 35 percent margin. Stewart has the support of 92 percent who said they voted for Trump two years ago, while 93 percent of the Hillary Clinton supporters back Kaine, who was Clinton’s vice presidential running mate in 2016.
The Clinton-Kaine ticket carried Virginia by more than five percentage points that year.
Among Democrats, 90 percent support Kaine. Stewart has the support of 73 percent of Republicans, and Kaine picks up 15 percent.
“By September, successful candidates usually have their partisans locked down,” Farnsworth said. “That so many Republicans favor Kaine at this point in the election is terrible news for Corey Stewart.”
There is evidence of a gender gap in voter preferences. Women favored Kaine by a 52 percent to 27 percent margin. Among men, Kaine was favored by a 45 percent to 33 percent margin.
Among Stewart supporters, 39 percent said that immigration was the most important problem facing the country, followed by 18 percent identifying the economy and jobs. Among Kaine’s supporters, 29 percent said health care was the most important issue, as compared to 17 percent saying the economy and jobs.
Kaine has a huge advantage in Northern Virginia, where he enjoys a 63 percent to 20 percent margin, and in Tidewater, where he enjoys a 50 percent to 28 percent margin. Respondents in the western regions of the state backed Stewart by a 44 percent to 33 percent margin, his best regional performance.
Among levels of education, Stewart did best with those who did not graduate from high school, where he had a 42 percent to 29 percent advantage over Kaine. Kaine did best with those who had at least a college degree, where he had a 61 percent to 24 percent advantage.
White respondents were divided, with 42 percent expressing support for Kaine and 41 percent expressing support for Stewart. African Americans favored Kaine by 71 percent to 4 percent for Stewart, as compared to a 51 percent to 11 percent margin favoring Kaine among Latinos.
The University of Mary Washington’s Virginia Survey Fall 2018 obtained telephone interviews with a representative sample of 801 adults, ages 18 or older, living in Virginia. Telephone interviews were conducted by landline (281) and cell phone (520). The survey was conducted by SSRS. Interviews were done in English from September 4 to 9, 2018. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is ± 4.6 percentage points. For resulted based on registered voters [N=704] the margin of sampling error is ±5.0 percentage points. For resulted based on likely voters [N=512] the margin of sampling error is ±5.8 percentage points.
For full survey, see Topline.
For further information, or to schedule an interview, contact Farnsworth at email@example.com.