Former Florida governor Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio are all neck-and-neck with the Democratic frontrunner in a new poll of Virginia voters from the Wason Center at Christopher Newport University. Only against Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker does Clinton lead by more than four percentage points. Bush leads her by two points in the poll.
A quick point: The final Christopher Newport poll of the 2014 cycle put Democrat Mark Warner ahead of Ed Gillespie in the Senate race by 7 points. Warner won the Senate race by eight-tenths of a percentage point. Give CNU a bit of credit; they were one of the only pollsters to have Warner’s margin in single digits.
This doesn’t mean that the Republican candidates would beat Hillary if the election were held today. It simply means that sometimes the Virginia electorate can surprise us. But a lot of the talk about 2016 has suggested that the Republican candidate will face a steep climb in Virginia, and that may not be the case after all.
UPDATE: A wise Virginia mind reaches out and reminds me that the poll is “based on 658 interviews of registered Virginia voters, including 388 on landline and 270 on cell phone, conducted April 13-24, 2015.” An eleven-day window for polling is pretty wide, and you have to wonder if Hillary’s numbers dipped significantly as stories about her dominated the headlines. Her polling numbers on those last few days must have been terrible . . .