After a surprising loss in his campaign for reelection to the US Senate in 2006, many have wondered what George Allen's political future is. PPP's newest survey found that his political career isn't necessarily over.
When respondents were asked whether they had a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Allen, a plurality, 41% said they viewed him favorably. 36% have an unfavorable view and a surprising 23% said they weren't sure.
That number is kind of shocking. Allen spent 10 of the last 15 years in statewide office, between his time as Governor and in the Senate. During that time he drew more attention than most politicians, widely touted as a 2008 Presidential candidate and then becoming the center of a polarizing reelection campaign after his 'macaca' comments in 2006. If after all that a quarter of Virginia's likely voters still aren't sure what they think of him, what politician do they have strong opinions about?
The survey also took a look at who voters would choose in a contest between Allen and Jim Webb if a rematch were to be held today, and it looks like the race would be almost as close now as it was in 2006. 45% said they would choose Webb to 43% for Allen. Each would get about 80% of the voters in their own party, with independents going for Webb at a 44-37 rate. Allen would actually be surprisingly competitive with black voters, trailing 62-20, and with other non-white voters, 53-33. Those aren't terrible showings for a Republican candidate.
Many politicians are nothing if not resilient, and these results indicate that if Allen did decide to run for office in Virginia again in the future, he'd probably have a fighting chance.
Full results here.