Former Virginia governor Mark Warner (D) holds a commanding lead over his potential GOP rivals in his run for the Senate seat held by retiring Republican John Warner, according to a newly-released poll.
Warner holds a 28 point lead -- 60 to 32 percent -- over former Virginia governor Jim Gilmore, and leads Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) 62 to 27 percent in the poll conducted by SurveyUSA. He carried every region of the state by large margins against both challengers.
Even more striking is that Gilmore is viewed unfavorably by a plurality of Virginia voters: Only 19 percent of respondents said they had a favorable opinion of him, while 34 percent view him unfavorably. Davis is still largely unknown to many Virginia voters: 46 percent said they were unfamiliar with him.
In a hypothetical matchup, Warner defeats former senator George Allen by a 19-point margin, further illustrating his early political strength.
The poll surveyed 783 registered Virginia voters between September 14-16. It has a margin of error of 3.6 percent. (Keep in mind that many pollsters have questioned SurveyUSA’s methodology because it uses an automated robo-call system to survey voters.)