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Va. Gov.: A Referendum on Warner?

Mark Warner seemed wistful about the final days of his gubernatorial tenure during a speech to a standing-room-only crowd numbering several hundred gathered this afternoon at the Winston Link museum in downtown Roanoke.

Can Kaine, left, ride Warner's popular coattails into the governor's mansion? The two candidates during a campaign stop in Northern Virginia earlier this week. (Linda Davidson -- The Washington Post)

"I don't want to have to give this job up," Warner said. The crowd, which gave Warner a rousing ovation when he entered the room, seemed to agree.

What is clear in this day of campaigning is that whereas Tim Kaine is liked by rank-and-file Democrats, Warner is loved.

Kaine appears to recognize this reality as he ties himself as close to Warner as possible. Kaine told a local television reporter that "if I could pick one person who I could have stump with me ... [Warner] is the guy."       

In a car ride from the Roanoke airport, Warner rejected the view that the 2005 governor's race is a referendum on his four years in office. "At the end of the day my name is not on the ballot," he said.

And, the governor insisted, "I do think people think the state is going in the right direction."

-- Chris Cillizza

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 20, 2005; 4:03 PM ET
Categories:  Governors  
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