RICHMOND, Va., Sept. 25 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Mark Warner appears to be in good shape in his bid for a second term with a 9-point lead over his Republican challenger, a poll released Thursday said.
The Quinnipiac University Poll found that 48 percent of respondents said they plan to vote for Warner, 39 percent for Ed Gillespie and 9 percent for Libertarian Robert Sarvis. In a two-way matchup with Gillespie, Warner gets half the votes, maintaining a lead of 9 percentage points.
Gillespie, a lobbyist and political consultant, is a former head of the Republican National Committee and White House counselor during President George W. Bush's administration. Only 78 percent of Republicans said they definitely plan to vote for him, while 94 percent of Democrats said they would vote for Warner.
"U.S. Sen. Mark Warner has been the most popular politician in Virginia for the past several years and appears to be in reasonable shape for re-election," said Peter A. Brown, the poll's assistant director. "But his lead is not insurmountable with six weeks to go until Election Day. Sen. Warner probably has more to fear from outside rather than inside Virginia. If the election turns out to be the kind of national wave for which Republicans are hoping he might be the kind of incumbent who could find himself tossed around like Republicans were in 2006 and Democrats were in 2010."
Warner served as governor before winning election to the Senate in 2008.
Quinnipiac polled 1,010 likely voters between Sept. 17 and Sept. 22. The margin of error is 3.1 points.