(CNN) – A poll released Wednesday showed Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli holding a commanding lead over his rival in the state's Republican gubernatorial primary, set to take place next year.
Cuccinelli, who will face Virginia Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling in 2013, led his rival 51%-15%, the Quinnipiac University survey indicated. Cuccinelli's popularity among Virginia GOP voters was also reflected in the two men's approval ratings: 70% of Republicans approved of the job Cuccinelli is doing as attorney general, compared to 48% who approve of Bolling. The two men's approval ratings were more similar among all voters.
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"While the ratio of job approval/disapproval among all voters is similar for Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, Republicans give the attorney general much higher ratings," Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, wrote in a statement that accompanied the poll's release. "It is early in the campaign, but at this point, Cuccinelli holds a very, very strong position in the race for governor."
The survey showed Virginia's U.S. Senate race remaining in a dead heat, with the two candidates locked in a statistical tie. Forty-four percent of Virginia voters said they support the Democrat, former Gov. Tim Kaine, and 43% back George Allen, the Republican former governor and senator from the state.
A gender gap was apparent in the poll, with women more likely to support Kaine and men breaking for Allen. The race for Senate in Virginia has remained deadlocked for months, with neither candidate emerging as a favorite five months ahead of November's general election.
"The Senate race looks like it will go down to the wire on Election Day," Brown wrote. "With 10% of voters undecided, each man has the opportunity to win the seat."
Virginia's Republican governor, who has been mentioned as a potential running mate for presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney, enjoys a reasonably high approval rating. Fifty-three percent of Virginians said they approve of the job Gov. Bob McDonnell is going, compared to 30% who said they disapprove.
While that is a high approval rating compared to other state governors, it matches McDonnell's all-time low, which was recorded by Quinnipiac in March.
"Although Gov. McDonnell's numbers have come down from their highs in the 60s, he still ranks among the nation's more popular governors," Brown said.
The Quinnipiac University poll was taken by telephone from 1,282 adults, including 549 Republicans, between May 30-June 4. The sampling error was plus or minus 2.7 percentage points for all adults, and 4.2% for just Republicans.