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Taking A Deep Dive In Virginia Taking A Deep Dive In Virginia

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Taking A Deep Dive In Virginia

Exit Polls
-      ---- Whites ----
Year   College  Non-Col Minorities
'06      46%      33%      21%
'08      40       30       30
+/-      -6       -3       +9

e> '06 Election Results
        ---- Whites ----
       College  Non-Col Minorities
Webb     47%      34%      77%
Allen    53       66       23

e> The Quinnipiac University poll, conducted Feb. 1-6 among 1,544 registered voters for a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percent (margins of error for subgroups is higher).
-                                   -White-  Non 
-           All Dem GOP Ind Men Wom Col Non White
T. Kaine    45% 90%  5% 44% 42% 47% 47% 29%  68%
G. Allen    44   4  89  40  49  39  45  59   18
Other        1  --  --   1   1  --  --   1    1
Not vote     2   1   1   4   3   1   1   2    3
Undec        9   5   5  12   6  11   7   9   10

e> But play with the poll's findings a bit and things look a lot better for Kaine than the statistical tie Quinnipiac pollsters reported: Reweight the poll to assume an electorate that looks more like the non-presidential 2006 (46 percent college whites, 33 percent non-college whites and 21 percent minorities) and Kaine would lead Allen 45 percent to 44 percent, a statistically insignificant margin. If the electorate looks like it did in 2008 (40 percent college whites, 30 percent non-college whites, 30 percent minorities), Kaine's lead grows to 48 percent to 41 percent, a higher margin than any public survey has shown. Take these numbers with a grain of salt: Republicans point out that Quinnipiac pollsters surveyed registered voters, resulting in a sample they say skews more toward Democrats than they anticipate the actual electorate will be. But it underscores a key point about the new way to win a statewide election in Virginia: Because of the growing role minorities play in the state, and their predisposition toward voting for Democrats, Republicans are forced to win larger percentages of the white vote. This time around, Republicans who study the state believe they'll need somewhere between 63 percent and 67 percent of the white vote to win the Senate seat. Allen's margin among non-college whites will almost certainly rise from 59 percent. His big challenge going forward will be to build a lead among the college-educated portion of the white vote. His failure to do so in 2006 cost him the race against Webb; his 2012 bid hinges on changing that. Subscribers, stay tuned to Hotline over the course of the next few weeks as we dive deep into each Senate race's electoral breakdowns. The results will shed light on which side really has the advantage this fall, and long into the future.

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