Former Virginia Govs. George Allen and Timothy Kaine are tied in the race for retiring Democratic Sen. James Webb’s seat. Both are polling at 46 percent among registered Virginia voters 18 months before the election, The Washington Post
The Democratic Kaine shows strength in the powerful and populated Northern Virginia, while the Republican Allen polls well in the rest of the state. Both must overcome negatives: Kaine for his close association with President Barack Obama’s policies as head of the Democratic National Committee and Allen for his “macaca” comment that derailed his 2006 Senate re-election bid , the Post reported.
Kaine’s handling of his job as governor has a 58 percent approval rating, and Allen’s job performance as a senator garners a 55 percent approval rating. Favorable impression ratings are at 57 and 52 for Kaine and Allen, respectively, according to the Post.
The Virginia senate race is expected to be key to Democratic hopes of retaining control of the upper chamber of Congress. Obama was the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Virginia in more than four decades, and his presence on the ticket is expected to boost black turnout.
Black voters heavily favor Kaine, who also has a 12 point advantage with women voters. Allen has a 12 point advantage among men, the Post reported. The poll also showed that Allen had a wide lead over GOP primary challengers, who polled in the single digits.
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