Romney opens lead over Obama in Virginia poll

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Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has opened a six-point lead over President Barack Obama in Virginia, according to a Roanoke College Poll.

The poll, however, finds an “enthusiasm gap” for the likely Republican presidential nominee.

The two were statistically tied in the college’s last poll in February.

Meanwhile, Republican George Allen maintains an 8-point lead (44 to 36 percent) on Democrat Tim Kaine in the likely November matchup for the U.S. Senate seat from Virginia. The margin is unchanged from the previous poll.

The Roanoke College Poll interviewed 603 Virginia residents from March 24 to April 5.

It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Screening for registered voters reduces Allen’s lead to seven points (46 to 39 percent) and Romney’s lead to five points (46 to 41 percent). 

Although Romney leads Obama, he faces a clear “enthusiasm gap” in comparison to the incumbent, according to poll results.

Romney supporters are less likely to say they are very certain they will vote for him (72 percent vs. 81 percent among Obama voters), are only half as likely to say they are very enthusiastic about their vote (31 percent vs. 62 percent), and are three times as likely to say they are not enthusiastic (22 percent vs. 7 percent).

Obama supporters are more likely to say they would contribute money to the campaign (49 percent vs. 20 percent among Romney voters), volunteer for the campaign (43 percent vs. 20 percent), informally talk to other people about voting for the candidate (58 percent vs. 45 percent), or put up a yard sign or attach a bumper sticker (50 vs. 30 percent).

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