- The Washington Times - Friday, October 26, 2018

Republican Denver Riggleman is leading Democrat Leslie Cockburn by 10 points in Virginia’s 5th Congressional District race, according to an internal GOP campaign poll out Friday.

Mr. Riggleman led Ms. Cockburn, 49 percent to 39 percent, according to the poll, portions of which were described to The Washington Times by a GOP official.

The numbers are undoubtedly a welcome sign for Republican officials, as the survey came back just days after the House GOP leadership-aligned Congressional Leadership Fund released its first TV ad of the race.

“Sabato’s Crystal Ball,” a political forecasting newsletter based out of the University of Virginia — which sits in the 5th District — also moved the race from “leans Republican” to “toss-up” just this week.

A recent New York Times/Siena College poll had given Ms. Cockburn a 1-point edge over Mr. Riggleman, 46 percent to 45 percent in the sprawling district, which stretches from the North Carolina border up through Charlottesville and near Washington, D.C.’s outer suburbs.

GOP Rep. Tom Garrett won easily in 2016, and President Trump carried it by double digits. Mr. Garrett announced in May he wouldn’t seek re-election amid struggles with alcoholism, leaving Mr. Riggleman and Ms. Cockburn to battle it out.

The race is one of four seats Democrats are realistically eyeing in the state as potential pick-ups in their quest to retake the approximately two dozen seats they’ll need to win back control of the House.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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