by Steven Ertelt
September 19, 2005
Richmond, VA (LifeNews.com) — A new poll in the Virginia race for governor shows pro-life Republican Jerry Kilgore and Democrat Tim Kaine, who generally backs abortion, essentially tied. The survey finds 41 percent of Virginia residents backing Kilgore while 40 percent support Kaine. Some 6 percent back pro-abortion Republican Sen. Russ Potts, who is running as an independent.
The poll, conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling, surveyed 625 registered Virginia voters surveyed by phone last Tuesday through Thursday. Thirteen percent were undecided about their choice for governor.
While the top candidates held their own, the poll found Potts sliding three points, as voters decide between Kilgore and Kaine. That likely means he will not be able to participate in the third and final debate on October 9 because he doesn’t meet the polling threshold debate organizers require for participation.
Kaine spokesman Mo Elleithee told the Associated Press he wasn’t surprised by the poll results.
"It shows what we’re seeing everywhere else. This is going to be a tight race and close right to the finish," he said.
Meanwhile, Kilgore spokesman Tim Murtaugh said he thought his candidate had a lead the poll doesn’t show.
"We have been skeptical about this poll this year and throughout its history," Murtaugh said. "That said, we are happy to be ahead but we’re going to continue running like we’re 10 points behind."
Going into the final stretch, Kilgore enjoys a $1 million campaign cash advantage and the support of pro-life groups.
Kilgore has long supported pro-life legislation and enjoys the backing of pro-life groups. National Right to Life endorsed Kilgore in June because of his history championing pro-life legislation.
"The endorsement reflects our appreciation for the strong stand Jerry Kilgore has taken on behalf of those members of our human family who are least able to protect themselves," former NRLC political director Carol Tobias said then.
"He has stood in defense of both unborn children and the medically disabled whose lives are threatened by abortion or euthanasia," she added.
Meanwhile, Kaine, the Democratic Lt. Governor, will not receive the support of the state’s leading abortion advocacy group. The Virginia NARAL affiliate says Kaine is not sufficiently strong enough because he favors some small limits on abortion because he backs a partial-birth abortion ban despite supporting legal abortion in general.