A poll conducted by a left-leaning firm released Tuesday shows significant vulnerabilities for Sen. Mark Warner’s (D., Va.) reelection efforts this fall, according to a Republican strategist and pollster.
The survey, conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP) last week and commissioned by the liberal PAC MoveOn.org Political Action, found that Warner was leading Republican challenger Ed Gillespie by a margin of 49 percent to 35 percent. Forty-nine percent of voters said they supported expanding the Medicaid health care program in the state, while 43 percent were opposed. Medicaid could be a key issue in the 2014 election.
However, Glen Bolger with Public Opinion Strategies said in a memo that the poll also revealed mounting weaknesses for Warner.
Warner failed to capture 50 percent despite being a well-known incumbent and popular former governor. He also trailed Gillespie among independents, 30-45 year olds, and Hispanics.
Independents and 30-45 year olds said they would be more likely to vote for Gillespie due to his opposition to Medicaid expansion. Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe is currently locked in a budget battle with state Republicans over expansion of the program under the Affordable Care Act.
"While we do not typically highlight PPP polls, these results are noteworthy for what they say about Mark Warner’s rapidly eroding standing with the Virginia electorate," Borger said.
Borger added that Warner is "struggling on the ballot among several key midterm groups versus a challenger who is not yet well-known."