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Virginia has moved up its primary next year, from Feb. 12 in 2008 to March 6 next year.

Mr. Farnsworth added that Mr. Perry, with nearly 11 years as Texas governor, fits in with Republicans who previously have won in Virginia, notably Mr. McDonnell.

President Obama faces mixed results in the state he carried in 2008 — the first Democrat since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964 to do so.

According to a recent PPP survey of 500 Virginia voters, in possible 2012 match-ups, Mr. Obama leads Mr. Romney 47 percent to 43 percent; Mrs. Bachmann 49 percent to 40 percent; and Mr. Perry by 48 percent to 39 percent. The survey had a 4.4 percent margin of error.

“Simply put, the Republican field leaves no choice to be made by Virginia voters,” said Democratic National Committee spokesman Alec Gerlach. “Each one of them has pledged allegiance to the tea party and along with it their extreme views.”

Still, the general election almost undoubtedly will hinge on the economy, Mr. Farnsworth said. “You tell me what unemployment is a year from now, and I’ll tell you who’s going to be president,” he said.