Total Pageviews

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Poll Finds Tight Senate Races in Virginia and Wisconsin


A new poll finds tight races for Senate seats in the presidential swing states of Virginia and Wisconsin.

In Virginia, where the race pairs two former governors, 48 percent of likely voters support the Democratic candidate, Tim Kaine, and 46 percent back the Republican nominee, George Allen, a difference that is within the poll's margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Mr. Kaine does better among African-Americans, women, college graduates and younger voters. Mr. Allen's support is concentrated among white evangelical Christians, men, older people and voters who do not have a college degree.

At this point in the race, independents are breaking for Mr. Allen, 49 to 41 percent, according to the results of a new Quinnipiac University/New York Times/CBS News poll conducted by telephone from July 31 to Aug. 6 among 1,412 likely voters.

Throughout his primary campaign this spring, Mr. All en sought to link his opponent to President Obama, and the poll showed that Virginia voters are divided on the presidential race as well, with 49 percent supporting Mr. Obama and 45 percent backing Mitt Romney.

The Virginians surveyed are somewhat more optimistic about the state's economy than the nation's. About one in 6 said that Virginia's economy was getting worse, compared to nearly 4 in 10 who said the nation's economy was worsening. About half of Virginians said their state's economy would stay the same, and 3 in 10 said it was improving. Virginia had a 5.7 percent unemployment rate in June, well below the national rate of 8.3 percent.

Virginians appear to be happy with the performance of Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican; 52 percent of voters approved of his performance, and 29 percent disapproved.

In the Wisconsin Senate race, the poll finds Representative Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat, in a dead heat with the three leading Republican contenders who wil l face off in a primary next week â€" former Gov. Tommy G. Thompson; Mark Neumann, a former member of the House; and Eric Hovde, a hedge fund manager.

In a head-to-head match, Ms. Baldwin and Mr. Thompson each received 47 percent support. Against Mr. Hovde and Mr. Neumann, Ms. Baldwin had a four-point and three-point edge respectively, differences that are within the poll's margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points on each candidate.

Against a fourth Republican in the field, Jeff Fitzgerald, the State Assembly speaker, Ms. Baldwin holds a 12-point lead. The Quinnipiac University/Times/CBS News poll was conducted July 31 to Aug. 6 among 1,428 likely voters.