A new Virginia poll by the University of Mary Washington shows Ben Carson leading Donald Trump 29-24% among likely Republican voters and Hillary Clinton up 63% to 27% over Bernie Sanders among likely Democratic voters. Virginia's primary is scheduled for March 1, part of a Super Tuesday of mostly southern states.
The poll also looked at the November election, but with a twist. All the surveyed match-ups, except one, included former Virginia Senator Jim Webb running as an independent. Webb withdrew from the Democratic field on October 20th, indicating at the time that he could return to the race unaffiliated with any party. No subsequent announcements have been made, although Webb's website is posting articles that would make one think he's giving it serious consideration.
In the four match-ups surveyed, Webb received anywhere from 12-20% of the vote, in all cases larger than the difference between the two major party candidates. While these numbers would undoubtedly change were Webb to run, he could potentially tip the outcome in what was one of only four states to be decided by 5% or less in 2012 and thus the former Senator could have an outsized influence in who becomes our next president. (Virginia voting history).
The University did a 5th 3-way test, pitting Jeb Bush against Hillary Clinton, with Donald Trump running as an independent. Clinton easily won that match-up with 42% of the vote, with Trump (27%) and Bush (24%) nearly splitting the rest of the pie.
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