It's no secret that Warner, charismatic and popular like former Republican Governor George Allen, is not entirely comfortable in Congress. That could be for a couple of reasons.
One, he likes to mix it up with people ... get out in public and participate and be visible and interact. The stifling atmosphere in Washington is way different than being the CEO of the Commonwealth.
Two, if he has higher political ambitions like, say, President of the United States, he has a better platform to springboard from in Richmond than in DC. Track records of Presidents show that most have previously served as governors with that executive experience; those running while in the Senate had less of a chance to win. It may not be a big factor for Warner but it's still there.
With two Republicans, Lt. Governor Bill Bolling and Atty. General Ken Cuccinelli, set to run for the Republican nomination, the question becomes, "Who could better go up against Warner?"
A Public Policy Polling survey on Thursday had some scenarios about a possible Warner-Bolling / Warner-Cuccinelli match-up. According to their poll, even though Cuccinelli would win over Bolling in a head-to-head contest, the stronger of the two to go up against Warner would be Bolling and, indeed, Bolling would win with other Democratic candidates.
Reporter Steve Contorno at The Washington Examiner writes:
Bolling would beat former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe 36 percent to 34 percent and former congressman Tom Perriello 35 percent to 34 percent. However, both McAuliffe and Periello edge out Cuccinelli.Reporter Chris Graham at Augusta Free Press notes Warner's continued popularity:
Warner’s strength continues to be his cross-party appeal. He has a 52 percent approval rating among all voters, with only 26 percent expressing disapproval, and he would take 13 percent of the Republican vote away from either of his possible GOP rivals.Mark Warner has not expressed an interest in running for Governor but that doesn't mean he hasn't had people in the background urging him to seek the nomination. Game changer? Stay tuned....
Update: Fishersville Mike has a humorous look at a possible Warner gubernatorial run ... Help us, Obi-Warner Kanobi....