I want to thank you for all of your support during my first week on the campaign trail. As you can see from the memo from my campaign manager below, we have been overwhelmed by the positive response from voters across Virginia.
Ed’s reach on Twitter has grown to more than 26,700, and the campaign has already grown to more than 7,600 followers on Facebook.
Based on Gillespie’s expected entry, the UVA Center for Politics moved its prediction for the U.S. Senate race in Virginia from “safe Democratic” to “likely.”
Speaking on The Kudlow Report, when asked which would be the race that breaks a 50-50 tie between Republicans and Democrats in the Senate, the first race noted by Republican Strategist Noelle Nikpour was Virginia, “because of Ed Gillespie.”
The Richmond Times-Dispatchnoted in an editorial the day before Gillespie announced, “A few months ago, Virginia’s 2014 campaign attracted scant national attention. A Warner-Gillespie matchup would be one of the year’s marquee contests.”
The first two polls in the Virginia Senate race demonstrate a drop in support for Senator Mark Warner, with the incumbent in serious danger on the ballot test.
In both the Christopher Newport University survey released Thursday and the poll by Roanoke College released Wednesday, Warner, who won with 65 percent of the vote in 2008, now fails to break the 50 percent threshold in a head-to-head matchup with Ed Gillespie.
The Roanoke College poll noted that Mark Warner’s favorable rating has dropped by double digits since September:
Mark Warner – Favorable Rating (Roanoke College)
Sept 2013 57%
Jan 2014 47%
Warner’s favorable rating is the lowest it's been in at least a year in the Roanoke College surveys.
In a head-to-head matchup with Ed Gillespie, despite being much better known, Mark Warner does not clear the 50 percent threshold in either survey.
In the survey release, Dr. Quentin Kidd, director of the Wason Center for Public Policy noted that, “only half of them say they would vote to reelect him if the election were held today.”
The Roanoke College poll noted that among Virginia voters, “two-thirds (66%) think the country has gotten off on the wrong track.”
Dr. Harry Wilson, director of the Institute for Policy and Opinion Research, said in the Roanoke College release, “Warner, generally the most popular elected official in the Commonwealth, has seen his approval rating drop below 50 percent.”
A Rasmussen Reports poll released today found that, “only 41% of Virginia voters have a favorable opinion of Obamacare, while 54% view it unfavorably. This includes 14% with a Very Favorable opinion of the law and three times as many (43%) with a Very Unfavorable one.” That does not bode well for someone who cast the deciding vote for it.
As they learn more about Warner’s record of voting 97 percent of the time with President Obama and Harry Reid, fighting to pass the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), and supporting reckless spending and job killing tax increases, Virginia voters will be very open to a change in November. Ed Gillespie will provide that positive change.