U.S. Senate candidates Tim Kaine and George Allen on Wednesday announced their best quarterly fundraising totals, even as a new poll showed the Virginia political heavyweights still neck and neck heading into the summer campaign season.
Mr. Kaine, a Democrat, raised $3 million in the past three months and finished the second quarter with more than $2.7 million on hand, while his Republican adversary, Mr. Allen, raised more than $2 million, but finished with $3.3 million in the bank.
Both second-quarter totals were the campaigns' best to date in the high-stakes matchup between the former governors. On top of Mr. Kaine's total, his campaign has already purchased $3.5 million worth of fall advertising. Mr. Allen's campaign is reserving millions of dollars' worth of post-Labor Day airtime as well.
"Since the start of this campaign, we have seen extraordinary grass-roots support for Gov. Kaine's commitment to work together in Washington to create opportunities and improve the lives of all Virginians, and this quarter was no exception," Kaine spokeswoman Brandi Hoffine said.
Mr. Allen said he and his wife, Susan, were grateful for the support and generosity of his donors.
"Each day people from every region of Virginia are joining our dedicated grass-roots team, and we're encouraged by the strong growth in supporters who gave us our largest fundraising quarter of the campaign," he said.
The totals were released on the same day the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling firm released a survey showing Mr. Kaine with a two-point 46-percent-to-44-percent lead - still within the margin of error of 3.9 percentage points. In a PPP poll in April, Mr. Kaine led 45 percent to 44 percent.
"The Virginia Senate race still looks like a sheer tossup," said Dean Debnam, the firm's president. "But Tim Kaine has had a modest lead on our last couple polls now."
Both candidates enjoyed overwhelming support from their respective parties, but Mr. Kaine held a 45-percent-to-37-percent lead among independents. Forty-three percent of voters had a favorable view of the Democrat, compared with 38 percent who viewed him unfavorably. Mr. Allen had a slightly underwater 39/42 favorable/unfavorable split.
"Voters like [Kaine] better than Allen, and he may receive coattails from Barack Obama, who's faring quite well in the state at this point," Mr. Debnam said.
Results released by the firm Tuesday showed Mr. Obama with a 50 percent to 42-percent lead over Republican Mitt Romney.
PPP, which conducts polls via automated telephone interviews, surveyed 647 registered voters in Virginia from July 5 to July 8. The party affiliation of those polled was split nearly evenly among Democrats, Republicans and independents or others.
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