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updated 11/5/2006 7:10:42 AM ET 2006-11-05T12:10:42

The Mason-Dixon Virginia Poll was conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, Inc. of Washington, D.C. from November 1 through November 3, 2006.  A total of 625 registered voters were interviewed statewide by telephone.  All indicated that they were likely to vote in the November general election.

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Those interviewed were selected by the random variation of the last four digits of telephone numbers.  A cross-section of exchanges was utilized in order to ensure an accurate reflection of the state.  Quotas were assigned to reflect voter turn-out by county.

The margin for error, according to standards customarily used by statisticians, is no more than plus or minus 4 percentage points. This means that there is a 95 percent probability that the "true" figure would fall within that range if the entire population were sampled.  The margin for error is higher for any subgroup, such as a regional or racial grouping.

SEX:

Male 306 (49%)        

Female 319 (51%)

RACE:

Whites 520 (83%)

Blacks  96 (15%)

Other   9 (1%)

REGION:

Northern Virginia              165 interviews             

Shenandoah/Piedmont   90 interviews             

Richmond Metro                90 interviews             

Hampton Roads              130 interviews

Lynchburg/Southside      75 interviews

Roanoke/Southwestern Virginia     75 interviews

Democrat Jim Webb leads Republican George Allen for the first time in the Virginia Senate race, although it is by a statistically insignificant one percentage point.

Statewide, 46% of likely voters currently support Webb, while 45% back Allen, 2% are for independent Gail Parker and 7% are undecided.  Allen lead 47%-43% two weeks ago, but has failed to top 50% in any poll conducted this year.

SENATE VOTE                ALLEN    WEBB    PARKER    UNDECIDED

July 2006                           48%       32%         N/A             20%

September 2006               46%        42%         N/A             12%

Late September 2006 **   43%        43%         2%              12%

October 2006                   47%        43%          2%              8%

November 2006               45%        46%          2%              7%

Allen still leads in the rural most regions of the state, and the Richmond metro area, while Webb is ahead in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads.  Allen leads among men (49%-45%), while Webb leads among women (47%-41%). 

Probably of most significance is the fact that Webb is dominating Allen among black voters, where he leads by a substantial 87%-6% margin.  In his previous races Allen has typically been able to tap 12-15% of the black vote, but his racial controversies appear to have undermined his credibility with African-American voters in Virginia.

Allen’s personal popularity with state voters is still an issue. While Allen’s favorable name recognition bounced up slightly, his unfavorable name recognition continued to increase – going from 39% to 42% (a new high).

ALLEN NAME REC             FAV   UNFAV   NEUT   DR

June 1992                           13%     5%         27%   55%

January 1993                      19%     8%         37%   36%

May 1993                             18%     8%         38%   36%

June 1993                            23%    12%       36%   29%

August 1993                        32%    18%       34%   16%

September 1993                 39%     24%       31%    6%

October 1993                      44%     24%       29%    3%

November 1993                  50%     25%       25%    -

January 1994                      45%     17%       36%    2%

March 1994                         49%     16%       34%    1%

January 1995                     43%      24%       22%    1%

July 1995                            49%      24%       26%    1%

October 1995                     48%      29%       22%    1%

February 1998                    64%      16%      19%    1%

June 1999                          56%      15%       26%    3%

September 1999                59%      13%       26%    2%

July 2000                            52%     22%        23%    3%

September 2000                49%      29%      20%    2%

October 2000                    47%      35%       20%    1%

November 2000                48%       34%      17%    1%

July 2005                           51%      23%      23%    3%

July 2006                           49%      23%      25%    3%

September 2006               41%      31%       27%    1%

Late September 2006 **   40%      32%       27%    1%

October 2006                    42%      39%       18%    1%

November 2006                44%      42%       14%    -

Webb’s favorable name recognition is actually lower than Allen’s but his negatives are not as high. 

WEBB NAME REC          FAV   UNFAV   NEUT   DR

July 2006                         21%    11%       35%     33%

September 2006              28%     7%        43%     22%

Late September 2006 **  31%    20%       41%     8%

October 2006                    34%    28%       33%      5%

November 2006              40%    32%        24%      4%

While a plurality of Virginia voters backs the Question 1 marriage amendment, support continues to decline and has dropped below 50%.  There has been a striking shift against this amendment among black voters.  Passage is now very much in question.

MARRIAGE AMENDMENT     “YES”    “NO”    UNDECIDED

July 2006                                 56%      38%        6%

September 2006                      54%      40%        6%

October 2006                           52%      42%        6%

November 2006                       49%      45%        6%

Do you recognize the name ____________?

(IF YES) Do you have a favorable, unfavorable or neutral opinion of ________?

                             FAV.  UNFAV.  NEUT.  DON’T RECOGNIZE                      

George Allen      44%      42%        14%          -      

Jim Webb           40%      32%        24%          4%      

If the 2006 election for Virginia’s U.S. Senate seat were held today, would you vote for:

- Jim Webb, Democrat                                                      

- George Allen, Republican                                             

- Gail Parker, Independent Green Party           

                  WEBB     ALLEN     PARKER    UNDECIDED  

STATE       46%       45%           2%               7%                

REGION                        WEBB    ALLEN    PARKER    UNDECIDED  

Northern Virginia             56%       36%           2%               7%        

Shenandoah/Piedmont   38%        52%          2%               8%        

Richmond Metro             37%       54%          2%                7%          

Hampton Roads              50%        42%          2%                6%          

Lynchburg/Southside       39%       51%          4%                7%          

Roanoke/Southwest        43%        47%          1%                9%              

SEX          WEBB    ALLEN    PARKER    UNDECIDED  

Men          45%         49%         2%               4%          

Women    47%         41%         2%               10%              

RACE             WEBB    ALLEN    PARKER    UNDECIDED  

White              39%         52%          2%              7%          

Black               87%          6%           2%              5%                 

PARTY ID           WEBB    ALLEN    PARKER    UNDECIDED  

Democrats          87%        6%           2%               5%          

Republicans       10%        83%          1%               6%          

Independents      45%       40%          5%              10%              

Question Number 1 on the November ballot proposes to amend the Constitution of Virginia to state:

“That only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions. 

This Commonwealth and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate marriage.  Nor shall this Commonwealth or its political subdivisions create or recognize another union, partnership, or other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effect of marriage.”

If the election were held today, would you vote:

– “YES” to approve the amendment, or
– “NO” to defeat the amendment?

                    “YES”    “NO”    UNDECIDED  

STATE        49%      45%        6%               

REGION                         “YES”    “NO”    UNDECIDED  

Northern Virginia              36%      60%        4%        

Shenandoah/Piedmont    53%      41%        6%              

Richmond Metro               52%      42%        6%              

Hampton Roads               50%      46%        4%              

Lynchburg/Southside       55%      35%       11%              

Roanoke/Southwest         64%      29%        7%

SEX            “YES”    “NO”    UNDECIDED   

Men             54%      41%        5%

Women       44%      49%        7%              

RACE      “YES”    “NO”    UNDECIDED  

White        51%      43%        6%              

Black        38%      55%        7%                

PARTY ID       “ YES”    “NO”    UNDECIDED

Democrats         24%      70%        6%               

Republicans       74%      21%        5%              

Independents     45%      46%        9%              

Which political party would prefer to see in control of the U.S. Senate – the Republican Party or the Democratic Party?

                                                                                                     UNDECIDED

                               STATE  MEN  WOMEN  DEMS  REPS  INDS  VOTERS

DEMOCRATS        47%    44%     50%        93%     8%       42%    42%

REPUBLICANS     45%    49%      41%        3%      87%     37%    25%

NOT SURE             8%      7%        9%         4%       5%       21%    33%

Regardless of how you are voting in the U.S. Senate race, please tell me which candidate – George Allen or Jim Webb -- you feel would do a better job handling each of the following issues:

- The war in Iraq & National Security issues?

WEBB                                    47%

ALLEN                                   40%

NEITHER/DK             13%

- Health care issues?

WEBB                                    44%

ALLEN                                   33%

NEITHER/DK             23%

- The federal budget, taxes and economic issues?

WEBB                                    43%

ALLEN                                   41%

NEITHER/DK             16%

- Immigration issues?

ALLEN                                   41%

WEBB                                    36%

NEITHER/DK             23%

- Honesty in government and ethical issues?

WEBB                                    41%

ALLEN                                   34%

NEITHER/DK             25%

- Education issues?

WEBB                                    42%

ALLEN                                   38%

NEITHER/DK             20%

- Moral issues and family values?

WEBB                                    42%

ALLEN                                   35%

NEITHER/DK             23%

In your view, did either of the candidates for U.S. Senate attack the other unfairly? (IF “YES”, do you feel _____________ attacked unfairly?)

No                                                                   14%
Jim Webb attacked unfairly             6%
George Allen attacked unfairly                    12%
Both attacked unfairly                                   59%
Not sure                                                          9%

How would you describe the tone of the U.S. Senate campaign between Democrat Jim Webb and Republican George Allen?  Is it currently:

2% - Positive, with little or no negative campaigning

22% - Somewhat positive, but with some negative campaigning,

25% - Somewhat negative, but not as negative as most other Virginia Senate races,

47% - Very negative, as bad as or worse than in other elections.

4% - Not sure

Who do you feel has run a more negative campaign:

Republican George Allen                                         32%

Democrat Jim Webb                                                19%

Or, have both been about equally negative            45%

Not sure                                                                      3%

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