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Election 2008: Virginia Senate
Warner Leads by 25 Points in Virginia

The only real question in the Virginia Senate race seems to be whether Democratic candidate Mark Warner will have coattails enough to help swing the state into Barack Obama’s column on Election Day.

In the battle between ex-governors, Warner leads Republican Jim Gilmore 61% to 36% in the latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of voters in Virginia. In late September, Warner had a 60% to 34% lead.

The two men are running for the seat being vacated by the retirement of longtime Republican Senator John Warner (no relation to the Democratic candidate).

Obama has opened his biggest lead yet over John McCain in Virginia, according to a new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey.

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Gilmore has the support of 78% of Virginia Republicans, but Warner has the backing of nearly one-out-of-five GOP voters (19%). Ninety-seven percent (97%) of Democrats support their party’s candidate. Unaffiliated voters favor Warner nearly three-to-one.

The Democrat has a 15-point lead among men and a 33-point lead among women.

Warner is viewed favorably by 68% and unfavorably by 29%. Gilmore is regarded favorably by 48% and unfavorably by 43%. Thirty-nine percent (39%) have a Very Favorable view of Warner, compared to 14% who feel that way about his Republican opponent.

Warner ran unsuccessfully for the Senate in 1996 but was elected governor in 2001. He served until 2006 and surprised many in Virginia and nationally when he announced in October of that year that he was not seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. Warner has been favored to win the Senate race from the start, holding a double-digit lead over Gilmore since polling began last fall.

Gilmore served as governor from 1998 to 2002 and briefly campaigned last year for the Republican presidential nomination. Prior to his term as governor, Gilmore was attorney general of Virginia.

Rasmussen Markets data gives Warner a -- % chance of winning re-election in November. These results are updated on a 24/7 basis by market participants. It costs nothing to join, so add your voice to the collective wisdom.

Democrats are hoping, with national polls trending in Obama’s direction, that they can achieve a 60-Democrat filibuster-proof Senate on Election Day.

Fifty-three percent (53%) of Virginia voters say Governor Tim Kaine, a Democrat, is doing a good or excellent job. Just 18% rate his performance as poor.

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This telephone survey of 700 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports on October 16, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

See Methodology.


Virginia Trends: Gilmore vs. Warner

Date

Gilmore

Warner

10/16/2008

36%

61%

34%

60%

33%

59%

34%

57%

33%

60%

37%

55%

39%

55%

37%

57%

38%

53%

37%

53%


Favorable Ratings for Senate Candidates in Virginia

 

Gilmore

Warner

Very Favorable

14%

39%

Somewhat Favorable

34%

29%

Somewhat Unfavorable

21%

16%

Very Unfavorable

22%

13%

Not Sure

9%

3%


Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

The Rasmussen Reports ElectionEdge™ Premium Service for Election 2008 offers the most comprehensive public opinion coverage ever provided for a Presidential election.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.