September 12, 2006
A new Mason-Dixon poll shows former Governor Mark Warner is gaining popularity among Virginians if he were to run for President in 2008. In a survey conducted last week, 54% of likely voters said Warner should run for President, up 12% from just six months ago. In stark contrast, 37% of voters think Allen should make a run at the White House, down from 42% fifteen months ago.
"I don't think it's surprising that you see Warner with a little bit more support among Virginians," said Matt Smyth from the UVa Center for Politics.
Smyth says Warner has done a good job staying prominent in the Democratic party, raising money for other candidates and keeping his name fresh.
"He's stayed active in the party. He was Chairman of the National Governor's Association. He sort of used that as a springboard to talk about issues," Smyth said.
On the other hand, Allen has been hurt recently by some racially insensitive remarks he made. Smyth says he believes Allen could have a better chance at gaining his parties nomination for President while Warner would have a better chance in a general election.
"If the parties are a little bit more realistic, sort of playing the pragmatic role of electability over specific towing the party line on all of the social issues and all of the other issues, sometimes a party will pick somebody that does have a strong chance in a general election," he said.
Of course, neither men has declared their candidacies. In fact, Allen is currently in a tight race for his Senate seat with Democratic challenger Jim Webb. Right now, polls show that race is a statistical dead heat.