Senate Republican Debate

E.W. Jackson (from left), Del. Nick Freitas and Corey Stewart, shown debating recently at Liberty University, are competing for the opportunity to challenge U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., in the fall election.

A new Roanoke College Poll finds U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., with a substantial lead over the three Republicans competing in next week’s primary election.

Kaine holds an 11-point lead over Northern Virginia politician Corey Stewart, 44 percent to 33 percent, and 15-point leads over Culpeper-area state legislator Nick Freitas and Chesapeake minister E.W. Jackson.

Republicans will choose their candidate to challenge Kaine in the June 12 statewide primary. All three candidates remain largely unknown, poll results show.

Stewart, a member of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, was the only candidate of the three who had above double-digit name recognition, with 22 percent of respondents having an opinion of him. Still, 77 percent of respondents didn’t know enough about him to have an opinion.

Freitas, a state delegate, had only 7 percent name recognition, and Jackson 10 percent.

Kaine, by contrast, had 82 percent name recognition, 44 percent of it positive.

In other results, President Donald Trump’s disapproval numbers are down from previous Roanoke College Polls, and the percentage of Virginians polled who think the country is on the wrong track has declined.

Still, 49 percent of the registered voters surveyed disapproved of the way Trump is handling the presidency (36 percent approve), and 53 percent think the country is on the wrong track, while 37 percent think it’s headed in the right direction.

Also, 44 percent approved of the job Gov. Ralph Northam is doing, with 15 percent disapproving. The disapproval range is far lower than that of Northam’s fellow Democrat and predecessor, Terry McAuliffe, at this point in his governorship.

The poll, released Tuesday, has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.2 percentage points. The Roanoke College Poll surveyed 555 registered voters across the state between May 20 and Saturday.

Get the day's top stories delivered to your inbox with our email newsletter.

Brian Kelley is metro editor at The Roanoke Times responsible for coverage of most Roanoke Valley local governments and schools and regional politics.

Recommended for you

Load comments