- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Politicos and pundits are waiting with baited breath on Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II’s next move. Re-election? Senate? Governor? He has said his current plans are to run for re-election but has not ruled out a bid for governor in 2013.

If a poll released Tuesday by the Democratic-leaning firm Public Policy Polling is any indication, he’d have more than a fair shot at the GOP nomination.

Among Republican primary voters, Mr. Cuccinelli, who has made a name for himself filing high-profile lawsuits against the federal government over health care and carbon emissions, leads Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling 45 percent to 21 percent. The poll shows that Mr. Cuccinelli is simply more well-known than Mr. Bolling, with a 56 percent favorable and 15 percent unfavorable rating.

Mr. Bolling, in his second term as lieutenant governor, notched a 28 percent favorable rating and a 13 percent unfavorable rating.

The poll showed that Texas Gov. Rick Perry is leading the Republican field in the commonwealth, which will be among the most heavily-contested states in the country.

Mr. Perry gets 20 percent of the vote to 16 percent for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, 15 percent for Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, 13 percent for former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain at 10 percent, 6 percent for Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, 2 percent for former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, and 1 percent for former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.

But without Mrs. Palin in the race, Mrs. Bachmann would jump into the lead at 21 percent, with Mr. Perry and Mr. Romney at 18 percent apiece, Mr. Cain at 10 percent, Mr. Gingrich at 8 percent, Mr. Paul at 7 percent, Mr. Pawlenty at 3 percent, and Mr. Huntsman at 2 percent.

The poll also showed former Virginia governor and Sen. George Allen with a huge lead over his primary opponents, taking 68 percent of the vote compared to 6 percent for tea party activist Jamie Radtke, 2 percent apiece for Horizon Television founder Tim Donner and E.W. Jackson, and trace amounts for Hampton Roads lawyer David McCormick.

The survey polled 400 Virginia Republican primary voters from July 21st to 24th and the margin of error is 4.9 percent.