Kaine leads Stewart by huge margin in new Virginia Senate poll

Corey Stewart, the controversial Republican nominee in Virginia's Senate race, trails incumbent Democrat Tim Kaine by 23 percentage points and garners just 26 percent support from voters, according to a new poll.

The poll from the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University found Kaine winning 49 percent support, with 26 percent for Stewart, five percent for Libertarian Matt Waters and 20 percent undecided.

Republicans despaired when Stewart, who is known for his vociferous defense of Confederate symbols and his caustic descriptions of immigrants, won the June primary to take on Kaine in what has traditionally been a swing state but has trended increasingly blue in recent years.

The poll shows that 66 percent of the state's Republicans back him, while 10 percent are backing the Libertarian candidate, three percent are backing Kaine (who was Hillary Clinton's running mate in 2016) and one-in-five is undecided.

While Kaine has been considered a shoo-in for reelection, the dismal numbers for Stewart may be particularly alarming for Republicans because of the impact depressed GOP turnout could have on the state's contested House races. The Cook Political Report ranks four seats in the state as competitive in November, including three held by incumbent Republicans.

And Virginia voters appear to be largely inclined not to send Republicans back to Washington, according to the poll.

Asked which party they would prefer to control Congress after the election, just 32 percent said the GOP, while 51 percent preferred Democrats.

The telephone poll of 802 respondents was conducted July 10- July 30 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.49 percentage points.

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