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Jim Webb holds early poll lead over Allen

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A new poll shows Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, Democrat, with a one-point lead over potential challenger and former GOP Sen. George Allen in a 2012 rematch of their 2006 Senate race.

The Calrus Research Group poll shows Mr. Webb, a first-term senator, leading 41 percent to 40 percent, with the remaining 18 percent of potential voters undecided. 

However, Mr. Webb trails Virginia GOP Gov. Bob McDonnell by three points, 39 percent to 42 percent, in another hypothetical race, according to the statewide poll.

In a third Senate match-up, Mr. Webb does much better, leading Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a Republican, by 11 points, 44 percent to 33 percent, with the rest undecided. 
 
“Though most political observers do not now expect either Mr. McDonnell or Mr. Cuccinelli to take on Mr. Webb, Mr. Allen is considered a possible contender,” says Ron Faucheux, president of the nonpartisan. D.C.-based polling firm. “The fact that [Mr. Webb] is not polling above 44 percent in any of the trial heats is a danger sign. Despite his defeat by Mr. Webb four years ago, George Allen’s potential comeback strength is impressive.” 

The non-commissioned poll surveyed 600 voters by phone from December 7 to 9. 

Mr. Allen lost to Mr. Webb by less than 1 percent in their first contest.

A poll in November by Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling found Mr. Webb would begin a 2012 campaign with a 49-to-45 lead.

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