Free Lance-Star reporter Chelyen Davis covers Virginia government.
New poll: Cain and Romney up, Kaine and Allen tied
A new poll from Quinnipiac University today shows Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain on the rise, tying with Mitt Romney among Virginia voters.
Twenty-one percent of polled voters said they like Cain, and 21 percent like Romney. In a testament to how quickly a rising star in the GOP presidential field can fall, former favorite Rick Perry — who polled at 25 percent in this poll a month ago — fell to 11 percent.
Peter Brown, an assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a release about the poll that the race among Virginia Republicans is “far from settled.” He also noted that Romney’s numbers have remained fairly stable.
Both Romney and Cain are at a statistical tie with President Barack Obama, and Obama had a few percentage points over Perry. Among independents, though, Romney and Cain polled ahead of Obama.
Brown said the good news for Obama is that he isn’t losing any of the matchups with the top three GOP contenders. The bad news is that he still has low approval ratings; 49 percent of Virginians view him unfavorably and 52 percent disapprove of how he’s doing his job.
In Virginia’s U.S. Senate race, the two former governors — Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican George Allen — are statistically tied, which is consistent with other polls. This poll shows Allen with 44 percent and Kaine with 45 percent, and the university pointed out that there hasn’t been more than a 1 percent difference between the two in any of the three polls Quinnipiac has conducted this year.
“This race is tight as a tick,” Brown said.
The poll was conducted from Oct. 3-9, and covered 1,459 registered voters. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percent. The margin is wider for a group of Republican voters interviewed after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin officially declared they weren’t running.