Republican Mitt Romney has pulled into a dead heat with President Barack Obama in the battlegound state of Virginia, according to a new statewide poll released this morning.
Romney and Obama are tied at 44 percent in survey conducted by Quinnipiac University. Obama led Romney by 5 percentage points in a June 7 Quinnipiac poll and by 8 points in a March survey.
Virginia’s hotly contested U.S. Senate race also remains virtually deadlocked, with Republican George Allen at 46 percent and Democrat Tim Kaine at 44 percent. The Senate race has stayed within the survey’s margin of error since Quinnipiac began polling on the Virginia contest last year.
The results come from telephone interviews with 1,673 registered voters conducted between July 10 and July 16. The survey has a margin of error of 2.4 percentage points.
In the presidential race, independent voters are divided, with 40 percent for Obama and 38 percent for Romney. The president has a 5-point advantage among women voters; Romney has a 4-point edge with men.
While the race is a dead heat, the poll indicates that a solid majority of voters – 59 percent –support Obama’s push to raise taxes on incomes greater than $250,000. That was a major thrust of the president’s Virginia campaign swing last weekend. In households that earn more than $250,000 annually, 51 percent oppose the idea.
More than half of the voters surveyed – 51 percent – disapprove of Obama’s job performance and 48 percent have an unfavorable opinion of the president. But 42 percent have an unfavorable opinion of Romney and only 39 percent view the former Massacusetts governor favorably.
“One of them is going to win the White House, but neither would get elected prom king,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Connecticut-based Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
Though Allen and Kaine are quarreling over many of the sae issues that divide the presidential candidates, 61 percent of the voters in the survey said Obama won’t be a factor in their decision on the Senate contest.
Voters are evenly divided over the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the bulk of the federal health care overhaul. But 50 percent said Congress should repeal the law and only 43 percent said it should stand.
Complete poll results are available here.
– Michael Sluss