Inside the Numbers: Tim Kaine leads, bigly, in Senate race

tim kaineSen. Tim Kaine appears to be, not surprisingly, well ahead of Trumpist Republican challenger Corey Stewart, according to a new University of Mary Washington poll released Tuesday.

Kaine, a Democrat running for a second term, has a 52 percent to 36 percent lead among likely voters in the survey, conducted September 4-9 for UMW by the national research firm SSRS.

Libertarian candidate Matt Waters is at 5 percent, which, news alert, there’s a third candidate running? Didn’t know that until now.

Seriously, no idea.

Stephen Farnsworth, a political-science professor at UMW, and director of the school’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, provided the boilerplate quote about how “any statewide election in ‘purple’ Virginia is likely to tighten up as the contest draws nearer.”

So, there, Democrats: don’t go booking your hotel rooms at the Final Four just yet, because your team ain’t won anything, or something or the other.

But you look at the stats, and, well, they’re not good for Stewart, who is getting the support of 92 percent of Virginians who voted for Trump in 2016, but remember, Trump lost Virginia in 2016, by 5.4 percent.

You’d think for a second that getting 92 percent of the Trump vote would make this one closer, but among Republicans as a whole, Stewart is getting just 73 percent, with Kaine getting 15 percent of GOP voters.

Roughly a third of those surveyed by UMW said Trump would be a major factor in their Senate vote, and that group splits 60-35 for Kaine.

“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.”

Stewart is running best in the western and southwest parts of the state – you’re shocked, I can tell – with a 44-33 lead on the other side of the mountains.

Kaine is up 50-28 in Tidewater and 63-20 in Northern Virginia, which, yeah, that’s where elections in Virginia have been won for the past 20 years.

Analysis by Chris Graham

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