January 18, 2006
In 2008, voters will elect a new president. While it is still early in the process, two prominent Virginia politicians could play a major role in that decision. So what would happen if Mark Warner faced George Allen?
Both men have recently dodged the question, with Allen focusing on his 2006 Senate campaign.
"My focus is listening to the people of Virginia. Being as responsive and helpful as a U.S. Senator [should be]," he said.
Warner is looking at the future of the Democratic Party.
"We've got to reach out and find an awful lot of other Americans who are willing to take a fresh look," he said.
But both men are potential Presidential candidates. So how would they fare in their home state? A new study conducted by the UVA Center for Politics finds that Warner would defeat Allen handily 49% to 32% with 20% undecided. For Josh Scott from the Center for Politics, one category stuck out the most.
"More striking was the strong popularity that Mark Warner had with independents. Mark Warner was favored by those voters who consider themselves independents 53 to 17," he said.
Warner also won the minority vote as well as both genders. But to get to this point, each will have significant competition to get their party nomination. Warner could face nationally recognized New York Senator Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nod. Allen could face a slew of candidates including Arizona Senator John McCain.
"Both of them have significant challenges but significant opportunities lying before them as they proceed towards 2008," Scott said.
Both men still need to decide and declare their candidacies. Each have begun raising money for a potential run, but neither have officially announced their intentions. If Mark Warner were to win the Commonwealth, he would be the first democrat since LBJ to turn Virginia blue in a presidential election.