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Poll: Cuccinelli with big early lead in ’13 GOP gubernatorial race

Ken Cuccinelli holds an early 19-point lead in the race for the 2013 Republican Party gubernatorial nomination, according to poll numbers released by Public Policy Polling on Tuesday.

The attorney general leads the lieutenant governor by a 44 percent-to-25 percent margin in the PPP survey of GOP voters. The lead is based largely on Cuccinelli’s big advantage in name recognition (73 percent of GOP have an opinion on Cuccinelli, while just 48 percent have an opinion on Bolling) and a huge gap among Tea Party voters. Cuccinelli holds a 58 percent-to-18 percent lead over Bolling among Tea Party voters in the PPP poll.

Bolling holds a 25-point lead among moderate Republican voters in the survey rendering, but that advantage is negated by the relatively scarcity of moderates in the party base.

The poll also shows George Allen continuing to hold a strong lead in the battle for the 2012 Republican Senate race – with 67 percent of Republican voters saying they will vote for him, and Tea Party leader Jamie Radtke coming in a distant second at 5 percent.

At the top of the ticket, Virginia Republicans are, at least for now, leaning heavily toward former House Speaker Newt Gingrich for the GOP presidential nomination. Gingrich is at 41 percent in the recent PPP poll, with Mitt Romney a distant second at 15 percent.

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