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Posted at 11:36 AM ET, 03/ 8/2011

Virginia Democrats want Kaine for Senate, survey says

By Ben Pershing

Another day, another piece of evidence that many Virginia Democrats want Timothy M. Kaine to run for Senate.

Kaine, the former Virginia governor and current Democratic National Committee chairman, has now been mulling for a month whether to enter the race to succeed retiring Sen. James Webb (D). Kaine returns from vacation Wednesday, and his spokesman has said he should to make a decision this week or next. In the interim, a host of prominent Virginia Democrats have urged Kaine to run for the seat, viewing him as the party's best bet against ex-Sen. George Allen, the likely GOP nominee.

Now a new set of results from Public Policy Polling, which has been trickling out data from a Virginia survey for several days, shows Kaine with a wide lead in a hypothetical primary matchup against a host of other Democrats.

The poll from PPP -- a Democratic firm that uses autodial technology rather than live interviews -- found that 53 percent of "usual Democratic primary voters" wanted Kaine as their nominee. Ex-Reps. Rick Boucher and Tom Perriello and current Rep. Bobby Scott each got 9 percent, while former Gov. Douglas Wilder was the choice of 8 percent. Rep. Gerry Connolly and ex-Rep. Glenn Nye -- both of whom have already said they won't run -- got 3 percent and 1 percent, respectively.

In a three-man field, Kaine got 65 percent while Perriello earned 15 percent and Boucher took 11 percent. But none of these potential matchups is likely to happen, since none of the tested opponents is expected to run if Kaine takes the plunge.

Kaine, who sought to govern the state as a moderate, has some detractors in his own party -- particularly in the liberal blogosphere. But the PPP survey found that "Kaine has a superb 75-10 favorability margin with his base, better than ... Allen's 68-15 with Republicans." The poll also noted that neither Perriello nor Boucher is known to a majority of Democratic primary voters, a dynamic that would change if either man ran for the seat.

By Ben Pershing  | March 8, 2011; 11:36 AM ET
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Good choice, Yes I want Kaine for Senate.

Posted by: gsueiro2 | March 9, 2011 5:50 AM | Report abuse

I want to see someone elected to that Senate seat who proactively recognizes that the so-called "universal mandate" is irretrievably unconstitutional and who favors austerity in public spending at a time when the taxpayer cannot afford more. Regardless of party affiliation.

Posted by: SCOTSGUARDS | March 9, 2011 6:05 AM | Report abuse

I would think Kaine will run, I doubt Allen can win again, he is old Virginia, and an obvious racist. Also Obama will probably bring out the democratic base in 2012 and carry the state again.

Posted by: jtemple1 | March 9, 2011 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Kaine is a door knob. My money is on Corey Stewart. Virginia needs something better then the two party puppets.

Posted by: ddfunk | March 9, 2011 8:00 AM | Report abuse

After the hideous job that Obama is doing in this country, I don't think it makes much difference WHO the Democrats run, they will fail if they are liberal. The American Public will want to stay as far from the left as possible. Money talks and with Obama's miserable economy and the toll it is taking on Virginians, add the fact that VA has a republican Governor who is doing an awesome job, I don't care which party you like McDonnell has straightened out our economy and has the budget balanced and he did it pretty quickly. IF and I say that as a long shot IF, The economy somehow by some sort of miracle does rebound, (I don't see it, It WILL get much worse by election time)then and ONLY then do the Democrats have a chance either way of electing any one.

Posted by: | March 9, 2011 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Who else can run for the Democrats? No one else could even come close to winning. PPP is a real loser of a polling firm that no one in their right mind hires, but come on -- Perriello or Boucher is the best the Dems can do otherwise? They both lost to nobodies in November. Kaine really has no choice but to run and he knows it.

That is why he'll lose. You don't win elections like this unless you have the great desire to campaign for it. His heart clearly is not in it, he clearly does not want it but being the loyal little liberal he is, he most likely won't be able to tell the party no. That combined with Virginia turning back red in November, realizing the damage Obama has done, means no Democrat can win this seat. Kaine is the only one that could make a race of it but without the desire he needs and without his heart in it he'll lose comfortably, by at least six points.

Posted by: dblu2 | March 9, 2011 9:12 AM | Report abuse

NO!NO!NO! Not Kaine! Please. He is a loser. Can we get a real person? Kaine and Obama are the milquetoast of Virginia. Both can't remember their promises to be at least a wee bit center, or left of center.

I refuse to put my money, time and effort out for Timmy and Barry. Stay at home.

Time to move to...

Posted by: lpberkoff | March 9, 2011 10:35 PM | Report abuse

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