- The Washington Times - Friday, October 31, 2014

Democratic Sen. Mark R. Warner leads Republican challenger Ed Gillespie by 7 points, 51 percent to 44 percent, said a new poll Friday morning.

The poll from the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University is an improvement for Mr. Gillespie from one from the Wason Center conducted in late September and early October that showed Mr. Warner with a 12-point lead, 51 percent to 39 percent.

But Quentin Kidd, director of the Wason Center, also said the numbers indicate Mr. Warner is in a strong position to win.

“As we close in on Election Day, the Warner advantages that we first noted in our January 2014 poll — that he was in a strong position with his own party, had a solid toe-hold with Republicans and had a good position amongst ideological moderates — seem to have held from start to finish,” Mr. Kidd said.

Mr. Warner has the support of 97 percent of Democrats, compared to Mr. Gillespie’s support of 89 percent of Republicans. Independents also back the incumbent by a 13-point margin, 54 percent to 41 percent.

Mr. Warner also leads Mr. Gillespie among those identified as “ideological moderates,” 65 percent to 30 percent, and takes 12 percent of ideological conservatives, compared to 84 percent of conservatives going for Mr. Gillespie.

Mr. Warner leads by 10 points among women, 53 percent to 43 percent, and by 5 points among men, 50 percent to 45 percent.

Libertarian Robert Sarvis takes 2 percent in the poll. The survey of 634 likely voters was taken Oct. 23-29 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.

Mr. Warner has a 9.7-point lead in RealClearPolitics’ latest average of recent public polling on the race.

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