Poll gives early nod to Allen over Kaine in possible Senate race matchup

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A Roanoke College poll shows an early preference among Virginia registered voters for Republican George Allen over Democrat Tim Kaine in a potential matchup for a U.S. Senate seat.

The poll, taken before Kaine officially announced his candidacy earlier this week, showed Allen leading Kaine 45 percent to 32 percent, with 23 percent undecided. Kaine led among political moderates (41 percent to 34 percent), while Allen led among independent voters (40 percent to 35 percent). Kaine and Allen, both former governors, are among a growing field of candidates contending for the Senate seat once held by Allen. Democrat Sen. Jim Webb, who defeated Allen in 2006, has announced he will not run for re-election.   

In addition to the senate race, half of the poll’s respondents said that things in Virginia are going the right direction, while 36 percent said things are on the wrong track.

The poll, which also measured national issues, found that Virginias did not feel the same way about their country. Approximately 71 percent of respondents believe that their country is on the wrong track, with only 20 percent believing that things are going in the right direction, numbers essentially unchanged from last December.

Other findings:

Fifty-nine percent of respondents prefer that the federal budget deficit be reduced through a combination of budget cuts and tax increases, but more than one-third prefer budget cuts alone, while only four percent want tax creases alone.

When offered a choice between protecting the environment or promoting economic growth, respondents chose the former (47 percent to 31 percent). However, when offered the choice of protecting the environment or developing domestic energy sources, they chose the latter (43 percent to 39 percent).

Interviewing for the Roanoke College Poll was conducted by the Institute for Opinion and Policy Research at Roanoke College, in Salem. The interviews were done between March 17 and March 30, 2011. The sample consisted of 437 residents of Virginia, and had an error of plus-or-minus 4.7 percent.

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