Poll: Tea Party challenge to Allen may be overblown

A new Public Policy Polling survey of Virginia Republicans has George Allen well out in front of a potential field of GOP contenders for the 2012 U.S. Senate nomination.

Allen, a former U.S. senator and Virginia governor, was the top choice of 67 percent of the Republican voters surveyed by PPP last week. State Del. Bob Marshall came in second in the poll with the support of 7 percent of those surveyed. Former Tea Party leader Jamie Radtke was third with 4 percent.

Allen benefits from a huge name recognition advantage, but the poll numbers also show that only 25 percent of Republican voters prefer a more generic “more conservative” challenge to Allen, who has come under fire from some Tea Party supporters for being too much a part of the Republican establishment.

“The threat of a Tea Party challenge to George Allen has been pretty overblown,” said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling. “He’s a lot more immune to that than most establishment Republican politicians are.”

Story by Chris Graham. Chris can be reached at freepress2@ntelos.net.

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