GOP holds slight edge in deciding Va. Senate race

Win gives Republicans effective majority in upper chamber

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“It is a different electorate next year,” he said. “It doesn’t have to be a bellwether for future years, and I don’t think it is. We don’t need a state Senate race to tell us the president is in trouble next year. The president is in trouble next year. I think it’s apples and oranges.”

Though Mr. Obama won the state with 53 percent of the vote in 2008, his poll numbers have sunk underwater recently in the state. Quinnipiac University and Roanoke College polls released in September put his approval rating at 40 percent and 39 percent, respectively.

“That will be the [Republican] message,” said Mr. Rozell. “It has some truth to it, but it’s not a complete picture of the election results.”

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