By , Gabby Morrongiello
Published December 20, 2015
Despite surpassing Donald Trump as the Republican presidential front-runner nationally and in several early primary states, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson remains tied with the billionaire in the battleground state of Virginia.
According to a poll released Monday evening by the University of Mary Washington's Center for Leadership and Media Studies, the two GOP hopefuls are both backed by 18 percent of right-leaning voters in Virginia. At 10 percent support, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio comes in third behind the two outsider candidates and is the only other Republican to score double-digit support.
Meanwhile, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie rounds out the top four with 7 percent support while former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul tie for fifth at 6 percent each.
In hypothetical matchups between Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, who's floated the idea of an independent bid after exiting the Democratic field in late October, and a handful Republican candidates, Carson performed the best in the Old Dominion.
Carson currently beats Clinton 41-38 percent in a general election match-up with Webb earning 13 percent. When Trump is placed toe-to-toe with Clinton, the former secretary of state edges him by eight percentage points, with 16 percent voters backing Webb. The real estate mogul does slightly better in a match-up against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, with Sanders beating him by just one percentage point, 36-35 percent.