Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) is a heavy favorite over any would-be Republican foes if he should make a run in Virginia's 2013 gubernatorial election, according to a new poll from Quinnipiac University released Wednesday.
The poll shows Warner, who served as governor of the Commonwealth from 2002 until 2006, eclipsing 50 percent support among registered voters and holding wide leads in hypothetical matchups against a pair of Republicans, lieutenant governor Bill Bolling and state attorney general Ken Cuccinelli. Warner, elected to the Senate in 2008, is viewed favorably by 58 percent of Virginia voters.
If Warner opts to remain in the Senate — and he is expected to make a decision on his plans by Thanksgiving — the governor's race would almost certainly become more competitive. Former Democratic National Committee chair Terry McAuliffe, who ran unsuccessfully for governor of Virginia in 2009, edges Bolling and Cuccinelli by 2 and 4 points respectively in the poll.
The poll was conducted Nov. 8-12 using live phone interviews with 1,469 registered Virginia voters. It has a margin of error of 2.6 percentage points.