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Virginia Senate - Gillespie vs. Warner

Candidates

Ed Gillespie

Ed Gillespie (R)

Bio | Campaign Site

Mark Warner

Mark Warner (D)*

Bio | Campaign Site

Virginia Snapshot

RCP Average:
RCP Ranking: Leans Dem
2014 Key Races: VA-2 | VA-4VA-10

----------PAST KEY RACES----------

2013: Governor
2012President | SenateVA-2
2010: VA-2 | VA-5 | VA-9 | VA-11
2009Governor
2008: President | Senate | VA-11
2006: Senate | VA-2
2004: President

Polling Data

PollDateSampleMoEGillespie (R)Warner (D)Spread
Final Results------48.449.2Warner +0.8
RCP Average10/1 - 10/29----38.848.5Warner +9.7
Christopher Newport Univ.*10/23 - 10/29634 LV3.94451Warner +7
Roanoke College*10/20 - 10/25738 LV3.63547Warner +12
CBS News/NYT/YouGov*10/16 - 10/231605 LV4.03949Warner +10
Univ. of Mary Washington*10/1 - 10/6444 LV5.33747Warner +10

All Virginia Senate - Gillespie vs. Warner Polling Data

RCP Poll Average
Virginia Senate - Gillespie vs. Warner
38.8Gillespie (R)
48.5Warner (D)+9.7
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Race Analysis

11/3/14 -- There are rumors of a break toward Gillespie, but no one is releasing polls. The apples-to-apples trendline comparisons for Roanoke College and Christopher Newport University aren't good for Warner, but there just doesn't seem to be enough time for Gillespie.

10/28/14 -- Virginia voters seem to be waiting stubbornly to make up their minds. Gillespie was probably hoping for Scott Brown-like movement, but it doesn't seem to have materialized.

10/7/14 -- The Christopher Newport poll showing a 12-point Warner lead is actually quite good for Gillespie, as it had previously shown him down by 20. This race is clearly tightening, but there probably isn’t time for Gillespie to close the gap before Election Day.

9/29/14 -- There's actually been a slight tightening here, with the polls showing Warner at his lowest point in the cycle. But it is far too early to suggest that this is anything other than Warner’s race to lose.

9/23/14 -- With just over 50 days to go, Warner remains fully in control of this contest. If Gillespie is going to make a race of it, things need to start tightening soon.

----------Race Preview----------

Unlike many Southern states, Virginia has always had a vigorous Republican Party. At first it was based in the mountains and hills east of the Blue Ridge, where there were few blacks and little historical support for slavery (there was an additional ancient base among blacks that, when combined with western Virginia, made Republicans competitive statewide into the late 1800s; this was wiped out by the poll tax in 1902). They also began carrying Arlington County in the northeast as early as the 1920s, establishing a second toehold in the soon-to-be-growing northern Virginia suburbs. The addition of the third base made Republicans a majority when conservative Byrd Democrats finally exited the Democratic Party and began voting Republican.

But during the 1990s and 2000s, Bill Clinton's socially moderate, fiscally conservative message allowed him to become the first Democrat since LBJ to run even in northern Virginia. As the Democratic Party continued to embrace a relatively fiscally conservative stance, the northern suburbs continued to gravitate toward the Party of Jackson. This trend culminated in 2006, when former Republican Gov. George Allen lost to Jim Webb, a relatively obscure Democratic opponent, largely on the basis of Webb's strong performance in northern Virginia. While Allen's fateful utterance of the word "macaca" is remembered as the incident that began his decline, in truth he was below 50 percent in the polls before that event, and Webb's fundraising was already picking up.

Two years later, former Gov. Mark Warner, one of the original “New Democrats” to win statewide office in the Old Dominion, won the Senate seat of Sen. John Warner by a 31-percentage-point margin over former Gov. Jim Gilmore. Warner carved out a center-left path in the Senate, although, like most Democrats, he voted for a large portion of President Obama’s agenda in the 111th Congress. Warner faces former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie in the general election. Gillespie will have access to plenty of money, but Warner remains personally popular. How competitive this race becomes probably turns on whether the atmosphere improves or not for Democrats by Election Day.

Polling Data

PollDateSampleMoEGillespie (R)Warner (D)Spread
Final Results------48.449.2Warner +0.8
RCP Average10/1 - 10/29----38.848.5Warner +9.7
Christopher Newport Univ.*10/23 - 10/29634 LV3.94451Warner +7
Roanoke College*10/20 - 10/25738 LV3.63547Warner +12
CBS News/NYT/YouGov*10/16 - 10/231605 LV4.03949Warner +10
Univ. of Mary Washington*10/1 - 10/6444 LV5.33747Warner +10
Christopher Newport Univ.*9/29 - 10/5690 LV3.73951Warner +12
CBS News/NYT/YouGov*9/20 - 10/11656 LV3.03951Warner +12
PPP (D)9/22 - 9/23625 LV3.93749Warner +12
Quinnipiac9/17 - 9/221010 LV3.14150Warner +9
Roanoke College*9/13 - 9/19630 LV3.92949Warner +20
Christopher Newport Univ.*9/2 - 9/7713 LV3.73153Warner +22
CBS News/NYT/YouGov8/18 - 9/21635 LV3.03951Warner +12
Hampton University7/27 - 7/30804 LV2.93255Warner +23
CBS News/NYT/YouGov7/5 - 7/24LV3.24353Warner +10
Roanoke College*7/14 - 7/19566 RV4.22247Warner +25
Rasmussen Reports6/11 - 6/12750 LV4.03653Warner +17
Quinnipiac*3/19 - 3/241288 RV2.73146Warner +15
Roanoke College2/22 - 2/28707 RV3.92956Warner +27
Christopher Newport Univ.1/15 - 1/221023 RV3.13050Warner +20
Rasmussen Reports1/20 - 1/211000 LV3.03751Warner +14
Roanoke College1/13 - 1/17553 RV4.22150Warner +29
WFB/The Polling Company (R)11/19 - 11/20600 RV4.03351Warner +18