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McCain Leads Obama, Clinton in Virginia

Tim Craig

Arizona Sen. John McCain, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, leads both of his potential Democratic rivals in Virginia, according to poll by Virginia Commonwealth University released today.

The survey, conducted by the school's Center for Public Policy, found that McCain would beat Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois by 8 points if the election were held today. McCain would get 44 percent of the vote among voters, compared to Obama's 36 percent.

McCain would expand his lead slightly if Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York is the Democratic nominee. In that match-up, McCain gets 47 percent of the vote among voters while 38 percent would choose Clinton.

"Many political observers have been looking at Virginia as a potentially tight General Election match up," said Cary Funk, director of the Commonwealth Poll. "Despite the recent success of Democratic candidate such as Tim Kaine in 2005 and Jim Webb in 2006, the presidential race in Virginia is at present looking mostly like years gone by."

The poll found that McCain holds a commanding lead over Obama in the rural western part of the state and has a 9-point lead in Tidewater. But Obama has a slight advantage in Northern Virginia and the Richmond area.

McCain has a 10-point lead against Obama among Independents, and the Arizona senator also draws strong support from Republicans and voters older than 65. Obama gets near universal support from African-Americans and has a slight edge among highly-educated voters.

The Commonwealth Poll surveyed 1003 adults, including 852 voters, between May 12 and Sunday.

By Tim Craig  |  May 20, 2008; 5:06 PM ET
Categories:  Election 2008/President , Tim Craig  
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Next: Virginia Notebook: Gambling on Webb for VP


The polls are very unreliable this season, and never include younger voters who have only cell phones (significant % of voters this year). This is one poll, and there have been various other polls showing Obama has a good shot in VA. The statistics this primary season are all over the map, and this trend is sure to continue for quite some time. Obama was leading McCain at one point in a VA matchup done by SurveyUSA...don't know if that is still true but there is plenty of evidence to show VA is competitive this year.

Posted by: Dems should give up now I guess | May 20, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

No McBush in '08!!!
That is why VA and even NC will be battle ground states this year.

Posted by: Yes He Can! | May 20, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Go Go Chimpy Obambi!!!

Posted by: Magna Farta | May 20, 2008 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Only a slight edge? How stupid are these highly educated people? Do they not know that Barack Hussein Obama is Jesus Christ returned?

Posted by: I like arugula | May 20, 2008 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Oh please, look for a real reason to vote for Sen. Obama. Republicans, dislike him for his extremely liberal useage of earmarks in the Senate instead of his name.

Posted by: Rob Bradley | May 21, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

I find it interesting that the Democrats give us a Presidential choice between the most liberal Senator in the the Nation or the most dishonest Senator in the Nation.

In a year when the tide could run in favor of the Democrats, the Democratic Party found a way to put forth two leading Presidential candidates who are as out of touch with American as George McGovern was in 1972 or as Walter Mondale was in 1984.

Posted by: Gus Phelps | May 21, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

And at the congressional level, they're recruiting Reupblicans. Democrats are going to wake up one day, realize they're the new republicans, and soil themselves

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

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