Poll: Kaine Holds Narrow Lead Over Allen

Poll: Kaine Holds Narrow Lead Over Allen

By Caitlin Huey-Burns - July 27, 2011

Democrat Tim Kaine holds a narrow lead over Republican George Allen in Virginia in what is likely to be one of the premier U.S. Senate races in 2012.

Kaine edges Allen, 46 percent to 43 percent, among registered Virginia voters surveyed by Public Policy Polling (D). The difference between the two candidates, however, is within the poll's margin of error. Both candidates have identical support (87 percent) from their political respective bases, but Kaine leads Allen among independents by 11 points.

Kaine and Allen, both former governors of the state, are vying to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Jim Webb. Allen served one term in the Senate before Webb defeated him in 2006. Kaine left his chairmanship at the Democratic National Committee in April to run for Congress' upper chamber.

But neither candidate has a particularly high favorability rating. Allen sits at 34 percent, with 44 percent of voters holding an unfavorable view of him, while 42 percent of voters have a favorable opinion of Kaine (40 percent have an unfavorable view). Not surprisingly, the majority of liberals view Kaine favorably while the majority of conservatives have a positive view of Allen. However, moderate voters view Kaine in a better light than Allen. Fifty-three percent of moderates have a favorable view of Kaine while only 18 percent have a favorable view of Allen. 

While it is presumed Kaine and Allen will win their respective parties' nominations, Allen faces a primary challenge from Tea Party-affiliated Republican Jamie Radtke. The poll shows Kaine leading Radtke in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup, 47 percent to 31 percent.

For this poll, PPP (D) surveyed 500 voters from July 21-24. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percent.

Caitlin Huey-Burns is a congressional reporter for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @CHueyBurnsRCP.

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