McDonnell Still Leads Over Deeds

GOP candidate's appeal growing among independents

By Asha Beh
|  Sunday, Oct 11, 2009  |  Updated 2:41 PM EDT
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McDonnell Still Leads Over Deeds

AP / Getty Images

Republican Bob McDonnell vs. Democrat Creigh Deeds

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The Republican candidate for governor in Virginia is holding steady against his Democratic opponent, according to the latest poll of the race released Sunday.

Bob McDonnell leads Creigh Deeds 48 percent to 40 percent in a poll conducted Tuesday to Thursday by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc. Twelve percent of those surveyed said they were undecided.

The poll also shows that independents, who were key to Democratic gains in the state but now prefer McDonnell over Deeds by 47 percent to 33 percent, Politics Daily reported.

That's the second poll in less than a week giving the lead to the the GOP's pick for governor.

On Thursday, The Washington Post published a poll showing McDonnell holding a lead of 9 percentage points over Deeds.

The Mason-Dixon poll suggests that McDonnell is heading into the final three weeks of the race largely unscathed from Deeds’ continuing focus on McDonnell’s controversial 1989 law-school thesis, according to The News & Advance. That same issue was ranked next to last in importance by those surveyed by The Washington Post.

In addition, Politics Daily notes that the poll touches on a cooling of enthusiasm for the dominant Democrats given the continuing economic challenges facing Americans and the highly partisan debates going on in Washington.

Lower job approval ratings for current Gov. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) might also be a factor; his numbers have fallen from 54 percent to 48 percent.

Meanwhile, both McDonnell and Deeds are doing well with women voters. Both polled at least 40 percent with women voters inthe Mason-Dixon poll.

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