Hurt campaign poll shows him with wide lead in Republican primary to face Perriello

May 18, 2010

A new poll conducted for the campaign of state Sen. Robert Hurt shows him maintaining a wide lead over several challengers in the race for the Republican nomination to take on freshman Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.).

The survey of the 5th district primary, conducted May 10-11 by the firm Public Opinion Strategies, showed Hurt winning 35 percent of the vote. Albemarle County Supervisor Ken Boyd was second with 10 percent, followed by former airline pilot Michael McPadden with 7 percent. Businessman Jim McKelvey and schoolteacher Feda Morton both scored 5 percent, and businessman Laurence Verga had 4 percent.

The poll found 34 percent of respondents were undecided, compared to 60 percent who were unsure in a February survey by the same firm. More significantly for Hurt, the poll put his name identification at 70 percent and all the other candidates under 50 percent, a vital advantage in a crowded field in a sprawling, rural district.

Hurt has also raised significantly more money than his opponents, though McKelvey, McPadden and Verga have sought to balance the scales by loaning large sums to their campaigns. McKelvey, who gave himself $500,000 in January, is now up with the first TV ad buy of the contest. The primary is June 8.


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