The race for the U.S. Senate in Virginia looks like a barnburner. In one corner stands Mark R. Warner, the incumbent, former telecommunications entrepreneur, one-term governor, former state Democratic chairman and the newest member of the Senate Finance Committee.
In the other, Ed Gillespie, former chairman of both the Republican National Committee and the party in Virginia, political adviser to presidents and a successful businessman who has never held elective office.
The contest pits a relatively untested contender with considerable potential against a champion who, while he doesn’t exactly have a glass jaw, has usually fought below his weight.
A Harper Poll taken last week for the American Action Network shows a tight race already. Mr. Warner is polling under the crucial 50 percent mark, leading Mr. Gillespie 44 percent to 38 percent. Early polls are interesting mostly to the close followers of politics, but when an incumbent can’t muster a majority, he’s in trouble.