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Mr. McAuliffe leads Mr. Bolling by a 2-point margin, 38 percent to 36 percent, and he leads Mr. Cuccinelli by a slightly larger 4-point margin of 41 percent to 37 percent.

If Mr. Warner were to step away from the Senate and run for another term as Virginia governor, he would be the prohibitive favorite, according to the poll. He leads Mr. Bolling by 20 points, 53 percent to 33 percent, and Mr. Cuccinelli by 18 points, 52 percent to 34 percent.

Mr. Warner has said he will make a decision one way or the other by Thanksgiving. But voters, by a nearly two-to-one margin, want to see him run for re-election to the U.S. Senate rather than make another bid for the Executive Mansion. Thirty percent of voters (more than half of which are Republicans) prefer that he does neither.

The poll, conducted Nov. 8-12, surveyed 1,469 registered voters and has a margin of error of 2.6 percentage points.