Virginia Sen. Jim Web, Democrat, has an early lead in an potential rematch against former GOP Sen. George Allen and two other possible Republican candidates should Mr. Webb run for reelection, according to a new poll.
The poll by Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling also found that former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, now chairman of the Democratic National Committee, also would be a frontrunner in the 2012 race should he run.
Mr. Webb, who defeated Mr. Allen in 2006 by less than 1 percent of the voe, would begin a campaign with a 49-to-45 lead. He also would lead GOP Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling 49-to-38 percent and GOP Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli 49-to-39 percent, according to the survey of 551 Virginia voters last week.
Mr. Kaine would have a 50-to-44 percent lead over Mr. Allen, also a former Virginia governor. He also would lead 48-to-41 percent over Mr. Bolling and 50-to-39 percent over Mr. Cuccinelli.
The poll also found Virginia Democratic Rep. Tom Perriello, who lost reelection Nov. 4, would be ahead of Mr. Cuccinelli 44-to-41 percent. However, he would trail 42-to-47 against Mr. Allen and 41- 42 against Mr. Bolling.
The polling firm also said Mr. Webb and Mr. Kaine lead the GOP candidates among independents, who make up nearly a third of Virginia voters.