DEVELOPING: Kevin Sullivan chosen as nominee for Del. Morrissey’s seat amid lawsuit threat

Recent poll shows dead heat in Va. Senate race

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)–Former state Governor Tim Kaine says Virginia has certainly earned its name as a battleground state; as both the presidential and state Senate races remain neck-and-neck, with just weeks left until election day.

“It’s basically a dead heat, very, very close,” Kaine says.

However, several recent polls show President Barack Obama pulling a stronger lead in Virginia, compared to Tim Kaine.  

Most of the polls show Obama leading former governor Mitt Romney one to five points in Virginia, where as in the state Senate race,  it’s a virtual tie, with neither candidate consistently holding a lead.

Campaigning with Senator Mark Warner at the Health Diagnostic Laboratory in Richmond on Monday, Kaine acknowledged that not all Obama backers support him, and vice-versa.

“The Independents aren’t people who are really looking to see the letter after the candidate’s name,” Kaine says.  “They’re looking to see who can best help people work together in Washington so we can grow the economy and fix the budget.”

University of Richmond political science professor, Dan Palazzolo, says the recent Republican and Democratic conventions have changed the national polling numbers, but Senate candidates haven’t been given the same exposure.

Palazzolo also maintains that the polls are a random sampling and the margin of error has failed to give any candidate a formidable lead. 

Palazzolo says he still sees a correlation between the presidential and Senate campaigns.

“It would be most likely if Obama wins, that Kaine will follow suit,” Palazzolo says.

However, the debates over defense spending and toll roads have helped separate the two races over the past few weeks.

Both Kaine and Allen say they’re working hard, rallying their base and reaching out to independent and undecided voters.

“While the presidential will affect us,” Kaine said, “People do have their own independent judgement about us.”

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