Poll shows a dead heat for a possible Kaine, Allen matchup

Sunday - 5/8/2011, 10:14am EDT

Former Virginia Gov. and Sen George Allen (R), left, and Former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (D). (AP File Photos)

WASHINGTON - An early poll shows former Virginia governors Tim Kaine and George Allen are in a dead heat in the U.S. Senate race to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Jim Webb.

The Washington Post poll shows that the two candidates are tied at 46 percent among registered voters. The election isn't for another 18 months, but this poll shows just how contentious a matchup between the two men could be.

Neither is guaranteed to have their party's nomination. When asked who they would vote for in a contest between Kaine (D) and Allen (R), 85 percent of Democrats said they would vote for Kaine, and 86 percent of Republicans said they would vote for Allen. Independent voters favored Allen by 10 percent, with 49 percent saying they'd vote for former Sen. Allen.

The poll shows that Kaine is more popular in the D.C. suburbs of Northern Virginia, while Allen is polling stronger in the Northern Virginia exurbs and the Central/West part of the state.

The poll also showed that 58 percent approved of Kaine as governor and 55 percent approved of Allen when he was senator.

Allen lost to Webb in 2006. Kaine served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee after being governor.

The poll was conducted by phone between April 28 and May 4 among a random sampling of 1,180 adults, including 1,040 registered voters, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent.

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