- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 8, 2005

George Allen would defeat four potential Democratic challengers for his U.S. Senate seat if the election were held today, but he would lose to Gov. Mark Warner in a head-to-head presidential race, according to a new poll of Virginia voters by Rasmussen Reports.

No Democrat has officially declared a candidacy for the Virginia Republican’s Senate seat next year.

According to the telephone survey of 500 likely voters conducted Wednesday, Mr. Allen would receive at least 54 percent of the vote in a head-to-head contest against four potential Democratic opponents — Delegate J. Chapman Petersen of Fairfax, former Navy Secretary James Webb, former Rep. Leslie L. Byrne and actor Ben Affleck.

Bolstered by Gov.-elect Timothy M. Kaine’s victory last month, Democrats have promised to put forward a strong candidate to challenge Mr. Allen, who received a 67 percent approval rating in the Rasmussen poll.

Mr. Warner, who received a 71 percent approval rating in the poll, has declined to run for Mr. Allen’s seat and is expected to seek the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008.

Earlier this week, Mr. Warner raised $2.5 million at a Northern Virginia gala and visited South Carolina. He will visit Florida this weekend and already has been to Iowa and New Hampshire.

Mr. Allen, also likely to mount a White House bid, has traveled the nation recently, including a trip to New Hampshire.

In the Rasmussen poll, 49 percent of Virginians favored Mr. Warner and 44 percent Mr. Allen in a head-to-head presidential contest. Eight percent were undecided.

Asked if Mr. Warner should seek the presidency, 41 percent said yes and 38 percent said no. Asked if Mr. Allen should seek the White House, 38 percent said yes and 46 percent said no.

Rasmussen asked voters their choice between Mr. Allen and several potential Senate contenders. He trounced all of them, including Mr. Affleck, whom he would defeat by forty-two percentage points.

If Mr. Petersen were to run, Mr. Allen would beat him 57 percent to 26 percent.

If Mr. Webb runs, Mr. Allen also would beat him 57 percent to 26 percent.

Mr. Allen would defeat Mrs. Byrne, who lost the race for Virginia lieutenant governor last month, receiving 54 percent of the vote to her 34 percent.

The poll also showed that 45 percent of Virginia voters disapprove of President Bush.

In addition, 63 percent approve of the job Mr. Kaine is doing as governor-elect, 30 percent disapprove and 7 percent are unsure.

The survey has a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points. The results can be found at https://www.rasmussenreports.com/2005/Warner%20Allen%202008.htm and https://www.rasmussenreports.com/2005/Virginia%20Senate%20December%209.htm.

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