The Virginia Senate race continues to look like a toss up, with Tim Kaine leading George Allen 46-45.
The thing that might be most surprising about these numbers is Allen running basically even with Kaine even though Mitt Romney trails Barack Obama by 8 points in the state. But Allen has a much better image with Virginians than Romney does. 38% of voters have a favorable opinion of him to 38% with a negative one. Those aren't impressive numbers, but they're a lot better than Romney's 38/52 favorability in the state.
Kaine's numbers meanwhile are similar to Obama's, just with a higher level of 'not sures.' His favorability is a +5 spread at 42/37, compared to Obama's approval which is a +4 at 50/46. Kaine and Obama are comparably strong, but Allen's superiority to Romney makes this the much closer race at this stage.
In contrast to the Presidential race in the state, Kaine might actually be the candidate with more room to grow in this contest. Allen is taking 83% of Republicans, while Kaine gets just 77% of Democrats. One number in the poll that jumps out is Kaine leading only 68-21 with African Americans. He seems likely to do far better than that in November.
The chances of the nominee being anyone other than Allen are minuscule though. He leads the primary field with 66% to 8% for Bob Marshall, 3% for Jamie Radtke, and 2% for E.W. Jackson with 20% of voters undecided. The primary numbers are basically the same as they were when we last polled Virginia in December and found Allen at 67% prior to Marshall's entry into the race.
The angle Allen's opponents seem to be trying to pursue is that the GOP needs a more conservative candidate but he actually gets his strongest support- 75%- from those describing themselves as 'very conservative.' He's very strong with that wing of his party. Allen's overall favorability with primary voters is 65/17, so there really just isn't much desire there for an alternative to him.
Different month same story- this is likely to be one of the closest, if not the closest, Senate races in the country this year.
Full results here