- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Heading into the final four weeks of campaigning, Virginia Sen. Mark Warner hold a commanding lead over Republican challenger Ed Gillespie, showed a new poll released Tuesday.

Mr. Warner tops Mr. Gillespie 51 percent to 39 percent in the survey by the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University.

It follows a pattern in most recent surveys in which Mr. Warner has held a double-digit lead over Mr. Gillespie, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee and former White House aide to President George W. Bush.

But about 7 percent are undecided and a quarter of Virginia voters say they could change their mind about who to back in November, the Wason Center poll said.

Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis garnered 3 percent support in the survey.

Key findings of the Wason Center poll include:

• As voters have tuned in since Labor Day, some undecideds have gone for Gillespie, but Warner still holds a commanding lead, 51 percent to 39 percent.

Warner‘s support is very broad, as independents, ideological moderates and some ideological conservatives add to his strong lead among Democrats, women and blacks. He also leads in every region.

• Most Warner and Gillespie voters are certain of their decisions.

• Voters say the economy and health care are the top issues, followed by the budget deficit and immigration and border security.

• Voters think Warner would do a better job than Gillespie on all issues surveyed.

“While Ed Gillespie‘s numbers are improving as the campaigns turn up the volume, Mark Warner continues to be in a strong position heading into the final few weeks of this election,” said Dr. Quentin Kidd, director of the Wason Center. “Warner not only maintains the solid backing of his own partisans, but also strong support among ideological moderates and meaningful shares among Republicans and ideological conservatives.”

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