The 2012 election is still 14 months away, but Virginia's U.S. Senate race is a statistical dead heat.
According to a poll conducted by Roanoke College, Republican George Allen leads Democrat Tim Kaine 42 percent to 39 percent, with 19 percent undecided. The poll included interviews with 601 residents of Virginia. It was conducted between September 6 and September 17. The Poll has a margin or error of +/- four percent.
President Obama trails some potential Republican opponents, but he leads others. In Virginia, the generic (unnamed) Republican leads Obama 41 percent to 33 percent. Mitt Romney leads Obama 45 percent to 37 percent. Rick Perry leads Obama 42 percent to 40 percent. President Obama leads Michele Bachmann 46 percent to 35 percent.
Obama's approval rating in Virginia is 39 percent, while 54 percent disapprove of the job he is doing as President.
Political Scientist Professor Harry Wilson notes Obama's approval ratings haven't hurt Kaine yet. Wilson told NEWS7, "We're not seeing Obama pulling down Kaine. There's no question however, once we get seriously into this election, you are going to see Allen trying to tie Kaine to President Obama, particularly because of his stint of the chair of the Democratic National Committee."
The Roanoke College poll shows jobs trump the deficit. Virginians judge unemployment to be a more serious problem than the budget deficit by nearly a 3:1 margin (65 percent to 21 percent).