U.S. Senator Warner leads in Virginia poll, but Obamacare weighs

RICHMOND, Virginia Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:40pm EDT

U.S. Senator Mark Warner speaks during an interview with Reuters in Washington, November 20, 2012. REUTERS/Stelios Varias

U.S. Senator Mark Warner speaks during an interview with Reuters in Washington, November 20, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Stelios Varias

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RICHMOND, Virginia (Reuters) - U.S. Senator Mark Warner holds a 15-point lead among Virginia voters over Republican challenger Ed Gillespie, but the Democrat's support for Obamacare could cost him votes in the November election, according to a poll released on Thursday.

Warner is favored by 46 percent of voters as he seeks a second term, compared with 31 percent for Gillespie, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, according to the Quinnipiac University survey. Libertarian Robert Sarvis has 6 percent backing.

Warner voted in 2010 for the Affordable Care Act, or President Barack Obama's signature healthcare reform, which has had a troubled launch. Virginia voters oppose the healthcare law 52 percent to 44 percent, the poll showed.

Voters in Virginia, a swing state in presidential elections, said 45 percent to 31 percent that they were less likely to vote for a Senate candidate who supported the health care law.

Warner has said that he was upset by the difficult roll-out of the Affordable Care Act. He has urged supporters and opponents of the legislation to work together to solve its problems.

Gillespie, a former Washington lobbyist and counselor to Republican President George W. Bush, opposes the Affordable Care Act.

Warner is among the third of the 100-member Senate up for election in November. Republicans believe they have a good chance to pick up the six seats they need to take control of the Senate based on public dissatisfaction with Obama and concerns about Obamacare.

Democrats are defending 21 seats, including Warner's, to 14 for Republicans.

Voters say 33 percent to 15 percent they would be less likely to vote for Warner if Obama campaigned for him, the poll showed.

Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said Warner enjoyed high name recognition and a strong job approval rating, at 55 percent.

He is in the range that suggests that an incumbent is a heavy favorite for re-election, Brown said in a statement accompanying the poll.

Gillespie, who has never held elective office, still has to introduce himself to Virginia voters, though his background in national politics will help him raise money, Brown said.

The poll of 1,288 voters was conducted March 19 to 24 and has a margin of error of 2.7 percentage points.

(Editing by Ian Simpson and Stephen Powell)

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Comments (4)
SunnyDaySam wrote:
Republicons are staking their whole game on opposing the ACA. That’s because they have NOTHING else. Not ONE constructive idea at all. Only negativity from the GOP.

Mar 27, 2014 4:20pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Geeureek wrote:
Mark Warner ran as a moderate but has voted with the far left secular progressive agenda of Obama, Reid and Pelosi virtually 100 percent of the time, and he represents the 60th vote that saddled us with this disastrous Obamacare fiasco- shove your copper plan where the sun doesn’t shine lefty boy. He votes like he represents San Francisco, well this ain’t San Francisco, so game on. I sold an AR-15 to a previous non-gun owner who loves it and donated the money to Gillespie.

Mar 27, 2014 10:45pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
valwayne wrote:
Sen Warner LIED to every person in the state of VA, and every American right along with Obama over keeping our plans, our doctors, and our cancer hospitals. HE LIED so he could cram it down our throats side by side with Nancy Pelosi. A vote for Sen Warner in Nov is a vote for Nancy Pelosi, a vote for Obama, a vote for LIES, and a vote for Fraud. Don’t do it VA. Don’t reward LIES and FRAUD, and the JOB killing policies of Sen Warner, Nancy Pelosi, and Obama.

Mar 27, 2014 12:47am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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