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Free Lance-Star reporter Chelyen Davis covers Virginia government.

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New poll shows Kaine, Allen dead heat; Cuccinelli lead over Bolling in 2013

A new Quinnipiac University poll shows that Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican George Allen continue to be in a dead heat, just days before a Republican primary that will determine whether Allen gets the nomination.

The poll also shows Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli with a big lead over Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling in next year’s governor’s race. Both of them are Republicans.

The tie between Kaine and Allen is no surprise, as that’s pretty much what every poll has shown for months. This round of polling has Kaine at 44 percent and Allen at 43 percent.

If it stays that way through the fall, the winner could hinge on the presidential race, said Peter Brown, Quinnipiac’s assistant director for polling.

“The Senate race is so close that whatever small margin of victory occurs could well be based on whether President Barack Obama or Gov. Mitt Romney has coattails,” Brown said.

Quinnipiac didn’t ask voters about the three other Republicans in the Senate primary.

One new question this time: Quinnipiac asked voters if they knew where Kaine and Allen stood on same-sex marriage. Most said they did not.

In the 2013 governor’s race, Cuccinelli was favored among all Republican demographic groups: men, women, conservatives, moderate, evangelicals and those who affiliate themselves with the Tea Party.

Republicans polled — 549 total — favored Cuccinelli by 51 percent, over Bolling’s 15 percent.

“While the ratio of job approval/disapproval among all voters is similar for Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, Republicans give the attorney general much

higher ratings,” Brown said. “It is early in the campaign, but at this point, Cuccinelli holds a very, very strong position in the race for governor.”

In keeping with results from past polls, Sen. Mark Warner has the highest job approval rating of state elected officials, with 60 percent of those polled satisfied with his job performance. Sen. Jim Webb had a 48 percent job approval rating, and Gov. Bob McDonnell has a 53 percent approval rating — lower than the highs earlier in his term, but good compared to governors in other states, Brown said.

Quinnipiac did the poll between May 30 and June 4, surveying 1,282 registered voters in Virginia. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points. The margin of error for the 549 Republicans polled is plus or minus 4.2 percent.

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