Analysis: New poll gives Mark Warner big lead in Senate re-election race

2020 election
(© Leigh Prather –

Sen. Mark Warner had an unexpectedly tight battle for re-election in 2014, defeating Republican Ed Gillespie by less than one point despite having strong approval from Virginia voters.

It’s not looking like his 2020 re-election will be anywhere near as dramatic.

A new Roanoke College poll has Warner with a comfortable 55 percent-to-34 percent lead on Republican Daniel Gade.

The big lead is registered in spite of Warner being just over 50 percent in terms of his favorability rating. At 51 percent, though, Warner’s favorability with voters is up 14 points from where a May Roanoke College poll had measured it.

The biggest hurdle for Gade, a retired Army lieutenant colonel and professor at American University, is that he is largely unknown. The Roanoke College poll has 67 percent of voters saying they don’t know enough about him to have an opinion on his candidacy.

At the top of the 2020 ticket in Virginia, Democratic nominee Joe Biden leads the incumbent president, Donald Trump, by a 53 percent-to-39 percent margin.

That margin is in line with where a May Roanoke College poll had the race.

Trump is severely underwater with Virginia voters in terms of favorability – with a 37 percent/55 percent split in terms of voters who have a favorable opinion vs. those with an unfavorable opinion.

Biden’s splits are positive – 51 percent view him favorably; 38 percent view him unfavorably.

Job approval for Gov Ralph Northam sits at 53 percent, down from his high of 59 percent in May, while 41 percent disapprove of his performance, which ties for second highest disapproval rating of his tenure as governor.

Story by Chris Graham

augusta free press news