September 25, 2014 - Warner Up 9 Points In Virginia Senate Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Outscores Republican On Honesty, Leadership, Caring Quinnipiac University Polling Logo
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Virginia U.S. Sen. Mark Warner leads his Republican challenger, Ed Gillespie 48 - 39 percent among likely voters, with Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis at 6 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

With Sarvis out of the race, Sen. Warner has a 50 - 41 percent likely voter lead, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University Poll finds. This survey of likely voters can not be compared to prior surveys of registered voters.

In the three-way matchup, Warner leads 94 - 1 percent among Democrats, with 3 percent for Sarvis. Gillespie leads 78 - 15 percent among Republicans, with 2 percent for Sarvis. Independent voters are split with 43 percent for Gillespie, 41 percent for Warner and 9 percent for Sarvis.

There is a small gender gap as women back Warner 50 - 37 percent, with 3 percent for Sarvis, and men go Democratic 46 - 41 percent, with 9 percent for Sarvis.

Their mind is made up, 77 percent of likely voters say, while 21 percent of voters say they might change their mind in the six weeks until Election Day.

"U.S. Sen. Mark Warner has been the most popular politician in Virginia for the past several years and appears to be in reasonable shape for re-election," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. "But his lead is not insurmountable with six weeks to go until Election Day."

"Sen. Warner probably has more to fear from outside rather than inside Virginia. If the election turns out to be the kind of national wave for which Republicans are hoping he might be the kind of incumbent who could find himself tossed around like Republicans were in 2006 and Democrats were in 2010."

"Republican Ed Gillespie is within single digits of Sen. Warner but that represents the lower-hanging fruit available to him," Brown added. "Actually Gillespie is tied with Warner among independents but the incumbent's lead rests on Sen. Warner doing about 15 percentage points better among Democrats than Gillespie does among Republicans.

"Warner's reputation as one of the more conservative Democrats in the Senate may be making the difference here."

By a 52 - 34 percent margin, Virginia likely voters have a favorable opinion of Warner. Gillespie gets a 34 - 26 percent favorability rating, with 37 percent who don't know enough about him to form an opinion.

Sarvis remains largely unknown as 77 percent of likely voters don't know enough about him to form an opinion.

Warner has strong leads on character traits:
  • Voters say 57 - 26 percent he is honest and trustworthy, compared to 39 - 19 percent for Gillespie;
  • Warner cares about their needs and problems, voters say 55 - 35 percent, compared to 39 - 29 percent for Gillespie;
  • Warner has strong leadership qualities, voters say 68 - 22 percent, compared to 41 - 21 percent for Gillespie.
From September 17 - 22, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,010 likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, Colorado and the nation as a public service and for research.

For more data or RSS feed- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.

1. If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Mark Warner the Democrat, Ed Gillespie the Republican, and Robert Sarvis the Libertarian, for whom would you vote? (If undecided) If you had to choose today, would you vote for Warner, Gillespie, or Sarvis? (Table includes leaners)
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Warner               48%    15%    94%    41%    46%    50%
Gillespie            39     78      1     43     41     37
Sarvis                6      2      3      9      9      3
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 7      5      2      7      4     10
 
 
1a. (If candidate chosen q1) Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the election?
                     LIKELY VOTERS................
                     CANDIDATE CHOSEN Q1..........
                            CANDIDATE OF CHOICE Q1
                     Tot    Warner Gillespie  
 
Mind made up         77%    80%    80%
Might change         21     19     18 
DK/NA                 2      1      2 
 
 
2. RECALCULATED MATCHUP Q1 ASKING SARVIS VOTERS: Who is your second choice?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     MATCHUP Q1 WITHOUT SARVIS.............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Warner               50%    15%    97%    44%    50%    50%
Gillespie            41     79      1     46     43     39
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -      -      1      -
DK/NA                 9      5      2      9      6     11
 
 
3. Is your opinion of Mark Warner favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Favorable            52%    22%    91%    48%    51%    53%
Unfavorable          34     59      3     39     39     29
Hvn't hrd enough     11     16      6      9      8     13
REFUSED               3      3      1      4      1      5
 
 
4. Is your opinion of Ed Gillespie favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Favorable            34%    58%     6%    39%    39%    29%
Unfavorable          26      7     52     23     27     26
Hvn't hrd enough     37     34     39     35     33     41
REFUSED               3      1      2      3      1      4
 
 
5. Is your opinion of Robert Sarvis favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Favorable            10%     8%     6%    15%    14%     6%
Unfavorable          11      8     13     12     10     12
Hvn't hrd enough     77     82     81     72     75     79
REFUSED               2      1      1      1      1      2
 
 
6. Would you say that Mark Warner - is honest and trustworthy or not?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Yes                  57%    38%    89%    52%    58%    56%
No                   26     39      4     31     29     24
DK/NA                16     23      7     17     13     20
 
 
7. Would you say that Mark Warner - cares about the needs and problems of people like you or not?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Yes                  55%    32%    91%    47%    53%    56%
No                   35     55      5     40     39     30
DK/NA                11     13      4     13      8     14
 
 
8. Would you say that Mark Warner - has strong leadership qualities or not?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Yes                  68%    50%    95%    65%    67%    70%
No                   22     35      3     25     26     18
DK/NA                10     16      2     10      7     13
 
 
9. Would you say that Ed Gillespie - is honest and trustworthy or not?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Yes                  39%    56%    17%    44%    44%    34%
No                   19      8     33     16     20     19
DK/NA                42     36     51     40     36     48
 
 
10. Would you say that Ed Gillespie - cares about the needs and problems of people like you or not?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Yes                  39%    61%    12%    45%    46%    33%
No                   29     10     53     25     30     29
DK/NA                31     28     34     29     25     38
 
 
11. Would you say that Ed Gillespie - has strong leadership qualities or not?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Yes                  41%    56%    20%    47%    45%    38%
No                   21     10     37     18     23     19
DK/NA                37     34     43     35     32     43
 
 
12. Do you think of your vote for United States Senator as a vote for Barack Obama, or as a vote against Barack Obama, or isn't Barack Obama much of a factor in your vote?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
For Obama            11%     2%    26%     5%     9%    13%
Against Obama        31     56      3     36     29     33
Not a factor         55     39     68     59     60     51
DK/NA                 3      3      3      -      2      4
 
 

Demographic Summary