President Barack Obama holds a slight lead over Republican challenger Mitt Romney in a new statewide poll of Virginia voters, while the state’s hard-fought U.S. Senate race remains a virtual dead heat.
The new Quinnipiac University survey released today has Obama ahead of Romney by a margin of 49 percent to 45 percent in Virginia. The candidates were tied at 44 percent in a poll Quinnipiac conducted in mid-July. The numbers in the new poll include undecided voters who said they are leaning toward a candidate.
The Virginia poll was part of a swing state survey Quinnipiac conducted in partnership with The New York Times and CBS News. Voters in Wisconsin and Colorado also were polled on the presidential race for the project.
The Virginia results come from telephone interviews with 1,412 likely voters conducted between July 31 and Monday. The survey had a margin of error of 2.6 percentage points.
In the Virginia poll, independent voters favored Romney by a margin of 50 percent to 43 percent. When asked which candidate would do a better job handling the economy, 47 percent went for Romney and 45 percent for Obama. Only 24 percent said they think the economy is getting better.
In the Senate race, 48 percent supported Democrat Tim Kaine and 46 percent backed Republican George Allen. The race has stayed within the survey’s margin of error since Quinnipiac began polling on the Virginia contest last year.
Gov. Bob McDonnell’s approval rating stands at 52 percent, down 3 points from the July poll.
You can find the complete survey results here.
– Michael Sluss