Home 2012 races Thoughts Please: How on Earth Can George Allen Have a +15 Favorable...

Thoughts Please: How on Earth Can George Allen Have a +15 Favorable Rating?!?


Can somebody please explain these numbers to me?

*Even after voting 96% of the time with George W. Bush, even after all the gaffes and revelations during the 2006 campaign – “macaca” being only one of them, given that since 2006 he’s worked as a corporate stooge for fossil fuel industry, and given that his policy prescriptions would be disastrous for the middle class and divisive for everyone else, how on earth can George Allen have a 46%-31% (+15 points) favorable rating in the latest Washington Post poll?

*That’s crazy enough, but even crazier: how the heck can Tim Kaine have a lower approval rating than THAT guy?!? (Kaine’s at 41%-39% in the Washington Post poll)

*Last but not least, how can Kaine be tied with Allen in poll after poll, at the same time that Barack Obama appears to be winning Virginia by 7-8 points over Willard “Mitt” Romney?

I’m also having a lot of trouble understanding this:

Although his popularity is down across the board, Kaine actually suffered the steepest fall with people planning to support Obama in November. His favorability rating dropped 20 percentage points among that group, even though Kaine has not broken with Obama on any high-profile issues recently. The percentage of non-white respondents viewing Kaine unfavorably climbed 17 points, and his decline in popularity has been pronounced among lower-income voters and those without college degrees.

But the overall portion of registered voters saying they planned to cast their ballot for Kaine hasn’t moved a bit, including among Obama supporters, indicating that backers of the president aren’t planning to abandon the Senate hopeful in November.

Huh? None of that makes any sense to me at all; why would people who support President Obama – a close ally of Tim Kaine’s – be feeling less favorably towards Kaine now than they were a year ago? Same question about non-white respondents? I can’t make sense of that, especially combined with the poll finding that these same people are still planning to vote for Kaine anyway.

All of this is strange, even bizarre, if you ask me. How can it be the case (assuming this poll is accurate, which I’m starting to think it might not be)? According to the Washington Post article accompanying the poll numbers, part of it could be the negative TV ads that have been run against Tim Kaine by outside “SuperPACs” (e.g., Karl Rove’s). Also, the Post points to “efforts by Republicans to tie [Kaine] to health-care reform, the stimulus package and other controversial Obama administration policies.” But that doesn’t explain why Obama’s winning Virginia in the same Post poll.

The bottom line from my perspective? These results are weird, seem to be internally inconsistent, and intuitively “feel” wrong. Yet here they are. Any explanations? Is the Kaine campaign going to have to go super-negative on George Allen to remind people of his sordid past? Or what?>

  • sonofkenny

    As such it is meaningless…if we see several polls showing the same basic thing, then you start to think there is something there…I doubt we will see that however…

    So…bottom line…I wouldn’t worry until there is reason…

  • FreeDem

    Think about it.

    What’s the turnout for a statewide election vs. Presidential? What percentage of young voters do you really expect to know the governor three, four years ago?

    Tim Kaine’s biggest challenge this election will be getting the attention of Obama’s supporters who are coming out for the Presidential, and not for the Senate.

  • Teddy Goodson

    The sad truth is that new voters (either new residents or youth just reaching voting age) simply do not recall either Kaine or Allen in their past jobs, giving Allen another chance to re-invent himself as an aw shucks drugstore cowboy and to use the vast resources of corporate cash available to him to run negative ads on Kaine.

    It is up to Democrats to force feed the truth in any way they cn to this demographics, which knows nothing of macaca or Allen’s do-nothing obstructionism ion the Senate, or that he found the Senate “boring” last time around. Kaine may be optimistic, sunny, positive, but he is not a glamorous he-man from out of a Hollywood-type reality show. He needs to get out more, speak Spanish to Spanish voters, have Webb talk Vietnamese to Vietnamese voters in his favor, and have everybody else remind, remind, remind folks about Allen’s true character (or lack thereof).

  • lcork

    Kaine was the first Governor, very early on, to endorse Senator Obama.  It seemed premature to me at the time, (but what the heck do I know?) If I recall, Governor Kaine was very effective in motivating the Latino vote for Obama.

    In other words, if you like waking up to a world where President Obama is your POTUS, then you should love Tim Kaine for the part he played in making that possible.

  • Dave

    He had a very high-profile break with the WH over birth control coverage, just a few months ago.