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John Warner Set to Enter the Fray

Tim Craig

Has Democratic Senate Candidate Mark R. Warner finally met his match when it comes to dabbling in the presidential contest in Virginia?

On Wednesday, Warner will campaign with Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) in Martinsville. Democrats hope Warner, a popular former governor, can help Obama win over working-class voters in Southside.

Before either Obama or Warner step in Martinsville, U.S. Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va) will have had his say as it relates to his support for Arizona Sen. John McCain's (R) presidential campaign.

John Warner, who is retiring from the Senate after 28 years, plans to join U.S Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va) on a conference call Tuesday afternoon to "discuss Virginia's significance in the 2008 presidential election and Barack Obama's visit to Virginia," according to the McCain campaign.

In a Washington Post poll last fall, John Warner had a 65 percent approval rating. Mark Warner, who is trying to succeed John Warner, had a 67 percent favorability rating.

It's probably safe to assume John Warner's approval rating hasn't changed much since the fall because he is retiring. Mark Warner's numbers could have dropped slightly given his ongoing campaign.

Either way, both Warners remain popular. Look for Warner vs. Warner matchups as they relate to the presidential contest to continue into the fall.

Does Obama or McCain stand to gain more by being supported by their respective Warner?

By Tim Craig  |  August 18, 2008; 7:19 PM ET
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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Because of the voters he attracts and where he attracts them, John Warner makes it clearly advantage McCain.

John Warner is still a strong draw in Tidewater and parts of Northern Virginia, easily eclipsing the normal Republican vote in those areas and topping the ticket. His numbers recall a time when Republicans easily dominated these areas.

In contrast, Mark Warner outperforms normal Democratic numbers in Southside and Southwest. It will be a tall order for him to win many converts to the Obama campaign in that region.

Posted by: Addison DeWitt | August 18, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

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