POLITICS

Obama up 8 on Romney in Virginia

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Photo - President Barack Obama holds a campaign rally at Centreville High School in July.  (AP Photo)
President Barack Obama holds a campaign rally at Centreville High School in July. (AP Photo)
Politics,Local,Virginia,Steve Contorno

President Obama has opened up a sizeable lead over Republican Mitt Romney in Virginia, a critical battleground where Romney is heavily investing both time and resources.

A new Washington Post poll of likely voters released Tuesday shows 52 percent of Virginians picking Obama in the November election compared to 44 percent for Romney. Obama's lead is coming largely from the D.C. suburbs, where he holds a 15 percentage point edge over Romney, and in Richmond, where he's up by 22 percentage points.

What's more, the poll says Democrats have entirely reversed a gap in enthusiasm between their party and Republicans. More than 60 percent of Obama's supporters are very enthusiastic about voting for him, compared to just 45 percent of Romney supporters.

Voters are generally split on which candidate would handle the economy better, despite an unemployment rate hovering above 8 percent and months of Republican attacks on Obama's fiscal policies.

Virginia's 13 electoral votes are one of the top prizes on election night. Indeed, there are few paths to victory for Romney that don't go through Virginia. The Republican presidential hopeful has visited the state repeatedly in recent weeks, most recently holding a large rally in Fairfax.

Obama, too, has Virginia circled. He will head to Old Dominion again on Friday.

A Public Policy Polling survey, also released Tuesday, gives Democratic Senate candidate Tim Kaine a slight lead, 47 percent to 46 percent, over Republican George Allen, a statistical tie. Even as the presidential race has seen surges and swoons, Kaine and Allen have remained deadlocked.

scontorno@washingtonexaminer.com

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