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Virginia Senate race a tossup, polls say

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Two new polls show the race to fill retiring Virginia Sen. Jim Webb’s seat is too close to call.

Result of a Rasmussen Reports survey released Wednesday show Republican George Allen with a slight lead over Democrat Tim Kaine, 46 percent to 44 percent. Three percent prefer another candidate, while 7 percent are undecided.

The result is well within the poll’s margin of error, which is plus or minus 4.5 percent.

But results of a Quinnipiac University poll released a day earlier show Mr. Kaine holding a 3 percentage point advantage over Mr. Allen. The 47 percent to 44 percent tally is barely outside the survey’s plus or minus 3.1 percent margin of error.

Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, suggested Mr. Kaine’s slight edge could be tied to President Obama’s surging poll numbers in Virginia.

“Virginia’s Senate race has been too close to call from the get-go,” said Mr. Brown. “It remains a squeaker and is likely to remain that way until the November election. An Obama victory in the presidential race would help Kaine, while if the Republican carries the state in November, that would help Allen.”

Mr. Obama leads all the Republican presidential candidates in Virginia, with his margin of 50 percent to 42 percent over Mitt Romney, his biggest lead over the former Massachusetts governor this election cycle, the Quinnipiac poll shows.

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