Poll: Kaine leads GOP challenger by 19 points in Va. Senate race

Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Senate panel passes amendment to bar using troops against protesters Defense bill turns into proxy battle over Floyd protests MORE (D-Va.) holds a big lead over Republican opponent Corey Stewart, topping him by 19 points in the latest poll released Tuesday.

A poll conducted for University of Mary Washington found Kaine comfortably leading Stewart, 49 to 30 percent, among all respondents. Libertarian candidate Matt Waters garnered 5 percent of the vote.

When polling likely voters, Kaine’s lead slightly narrows to 16 points, with Kaine ahead of Stewart, 52 to 36 percent.

Tuesday’s poll is consistent with other recent polls that show Kaine with a double-digit advantage. A Roanoke College poll from last month similarly found Kaine ahead by 17 points.

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“The latest Mary Washington survey demonstrates that Tim Kaine remains popular in Virginia,” said Stephen J. Farnsworth, professor of political science at the University of Mary Washington and director of its Center for Leadership and Media Studies.

“But any statewide election in ‘purple’ Virginia is likely to tighten up as the contest draws nearer.”

About a third of voters said President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE was a big factor in how they’d cast their vote in Virginia’s Senate race. Trump lost Virginia by more than 5 points in 2016. Of those voters who said he’s a major factor, 60 percent of them backed Kaine, while 35 percent supported Stewart.

The poll also found that Kaine has close to universal — 90 percent — support from Democrats. But among Republicans, 73 percent back Stewart, while 15 percent are breaking for Kaine, who was Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House accuses Biden of pushing ‘conspiracy theories’ with Trump election claim Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton qualifies to run for county commissioner in Florida MORE’s running mate in 2016.

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“By September, successful candidates usually have their partisans locked down,” Farnsworth said. “That so many Republicans favor Kaine at this point in the election is terrible news for Corey Stewart.”

Stewart, the chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, has been consistently polling far behind Kaine as the Virginia Republican faces accusations of ties to white nationalists.

Stewart, who has been an outspoken defender of Confederate monuments, reportedly fired a top aide who helped bring far-right ideas to his campaign.

The poll was conducted from Sept. 4 to 9 and surveyed 801 adults via landline and cellphone. The margin of error among all respondents was 4.6 percentage points, while the margin of error among likely voters was 5.8 percentage points.

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