Poll: Kaine leads GOP challenger by 19 points in Va. Senate race

Poll: Kaine leads GOP challenger by 19 points in Va. Senate race
© Greg Nash

Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineDemocrats urge Biden to go all in with agenda in limbo Panic begins to creep into Democratic talks on Biden agenda Congress facing shutdown, debt crisis with no plan B MORE (D-Va.) holds a big lead over Republican opponent Corey Stewart, topping him by 19 points in the latest poll released Tuesday.

A poll conducted for University of Mary Washington found Kaine comfortably leading Stewart, 49 to 30 percent, among all respondents. Libertarian candidate Matt Waters garnered 5 percent of the vote.

When polling likely voters, Kaine’s lead slightly narrows to 16 points, with Kaine ahead of Stewart, 52 to 36 percent.

Tuesday’s poll is consistent with other recent polls that show Kaine with a double-digit advantage. A Roanoke College poll from last month similarly found Kaine ahead by 17 points.


“The latest Mary Washington survey demonstrates that Tim Kaine remains popular in Virginia,” said Stephen J. Farnsworth, professor of political science at the University of Mary Washington and director of its Center for Leadership and Media Studies.

“But any statewide election in ‘purple’ Virginia is likely to tighten up as the contest draws nearer.”

About a third of voters said President TrumpDonald TrumpCheney says a lot of GOP lawmakers have privately encouraged her fight against Trump Republicans criticizing Afghan refugees face risks DeVos says 'principles have been overtaken by personalities' in GOP MORE was a big factor in how they’d cast their vote in Virginia’s Senate race. Trump lost Virginia by more than 5 points in 2016. Of those voters who said he’s a major factor, 60 percent of them backed Kaine, while 35 percent supported Stewart.

The poll also found that Kaine has close to universal — 90 percent — support from Democrats. But among Republicans, 73 percent back Stewart, while 15 percent are breaking for Kaine, who was Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats worry negative images are defining White House Heller won't say if Biden won election Whitmer trailing GOP challenger by 6 points in Michigan governor race: poll MORE’s running mate in 2016.

“By September, successful candidates usually have their partisans locked down,” Farnsworth said. “That so many Republicans favor Kaine at this point in the election is terrible news for Corey Stewart.”

Stewart, the chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, has been consistently polling far behind Kaine as the Virginia Republican faces accusations of ties to white nationalists.

Stewart, who has been an outspoken defender of Confederate monuments, reportedly fired a top aide who helped bring far-right ideas to his campaign.

The poll was conducted from Sept. 4 to 9 and surveyed 801 adults via landline and cellphone. The margin of error among all respondents was 4.6 percentage points, while the margin of error among likely voters was 5.8 percentage points.