| RICHMOND, Va., March 27
RICHMOND, Va., March 27 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
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
Gillespie, a former Washington lobbyist and counselor to
Republican President George W. Bush, opposes the Affordable Care
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
Democrats are defending 21 seats, including Warner's, to 14
Voters say 33 percent to 15 percent they would be less
likely to vote for Warner if Obama campaigned for him, the poll
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)