New Poll Shows Allen With Eight-Point Edge Over Kaine in Senate Race
Virginians more optimistic about direction of country, poll shows
Republican George Allen has taken the lead over likely Democratic rival for U.S. Senate, Tim Kaine, according to a new poll. The two former Virginia governors are expected to face off to succeed retiring Sen. Jim Webb (D) in a highly contested seat this November in a battleground state.
Kaine was in Huntington on Sunday to open the Virginia Democrats' coordiniated campaign headquarters on North Kings Highway.
According to Tuesday's Roanoke College Poll, Allen is leading Kaine 45 percent to 37 percent. In September, the same college released a poll that said Allen was leading by three points.
Allen leads Kaine with male voters by 16 points, while the two tied with women voters. Allen narrowly leads with self-described Independents, whereas Kaine leads with "ideological moderates" by 17 points.
"The likely Allen/Kaine race still has many undecided voters, and most polls continue to show it to be a close race," Harry Wilson, director of the Institute for Policy and Opinion Research, said in the Roanoke College press release of the poll. "These results should be good news for Allen, but it is a long time between now and November."
The poll interviewed 607 Virginians between Feb. 13 and Feb. 26. In addition to the U.S. Senate race, it asked questions about the president, Virginia state elected officials, and the overall state of the country.
Of the four Republican candidates for president, former Sen. Rick Santorum (Penn.) is viewed most favorable by 35 percent of those surveyed and 47 percent unfavorable. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney trails, with 28 percent favorable to 47 percent unfavorable.
In a matchup with President Obama, Romney and Obama are statistically tied, while Obama leads Santorum by 6 percent, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich by 10, and Texas Congressman Ron Paul by 11 points.
"President Obama's numbers have improved along with views of the national economy, although both remain weak," Wilson said. "The continuous bashing of Republican candidates by other Republican candidates appears to have resulted in low approval ratings of all them. They continue to emphasize social issues on the campaign trail, while Virginians remain focused on the economy."