The race is not over yet.
With just a little more than a month to go and all three presidential and one vice presidential debates still ahead of us, a new poll conducted by Suffolk University shows the race for the White House and U.S. Senate remains a virtual tie.
Several swing state polls show President Barack Obama begining to open up a sizeable lead, but here in Virginia it is still too close to call:
The poll of 600 likely voters was conducted between September 24-26th. Enough time for the full impact of the covert 47% video to have the opportunity to have an impact on people's decision. Despite the beating Mitt Romney has taken over the video, his standing in Virginia remains unchanged.
The poll has a 4% margin of error, meaning that the numbers are basically a tie.
And while the race for president is "basically" a tie, the U.S. Senate race actually is a tie:
A few recent polls showed the potential for Tim Kaine to perhaps pull ahead in this race, but our survey shows that he and George Allen remain locked in a razor thin battle. While the polls shows that most Virginians know both Allen and Kaine, there is still an astounding 12% of voters who have yet to make up their mind. Only 7% of respondents to the survey said they were undecided about the race for president.
You can see the full poll on Suffolk University's web site.
Here is pollster David Paleologos putting the numbers into perspective:
Here is my story on the poll for NBC12:
We are getting a better idea of just how close the race for president is in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
NBC12 partnered with Suffolk University to conduct a poll on the election.
Most swing state polls show President Barack Obama opening up a sizable lead, but here in Virginia the race is a virtual tie. In Ohio, Florida and Colorado polls show President Obama taking control. But a new Suffolk University/ NBC12 poll shows that is not the case in Virginia.
In our poll President Obama is holding on to a slim 2 point lead. Roughly 7% of Virginia voters are still undecided and pollster David Paleologos believes the president still has work to do.
"I can tell you with a high degree of confidence this is a close race, this is not a landslide for Barack Obama," he said.
But the news for Mitt Romney is not all good.
Votes still like President Obama more than they do the republican nominee. More than 52% view Obama favorably, while only 42% feel that way about Romney. More voters have a negative opinion of Romney than a positive one.
According to Paleogolos, being liked has never been the president's problem.
“People are saying they like Barack Obama more than Mitt Romney,” he explained.
It is Obama’s work as president that some aren't comfortable with. In fact 48% of the respondents in this poll disapprove of the way obama is doing his job. Only 46% believe he is doing a good job.
Things are even tighter in the race for U.S. Senate.
Our numbers show Tim Kaine and George Allen locked at 44% each.
The favorability numbers for the two former governors is roughly the same, both in the 40% range.
Palegolos believes both races could come down to turnout.
“Anybody can win this state, and there is not going to be a landslide win in either race,” he said. “Either the U.S. Senate race or the Presidential race.”
read and see the full story on NBC12.com
After the jump you can read the full press release from Suffolk University after the jump:
Suffolk University/NBC12 Poll Shows Obama Clinging to a 2-Point Lead in Virginia
Kaine and Allen Tied for Senate
Voters Expect Obama to Outperform Romney in Debates
BOSTON – President Barack Obama (46 percent) clings to a 2-point lead over Republican challenger Mitt Romney (44 percent), in a swing-state nail-biter, according to a Suffolk University/NBC12 (WWBT-Richmond) poll of likely general-election voters in Virginia. Seven percent were undecided.
The race is close – with survey results within the statistical margin of error – despite a decided popularity advantage for Obama. He boasted a +8 (52 percent favorable to 44 percent unfavorable) to Romney’s -3 (42 percent favorable to 45 percent unfavorable).
“Barack Obama shows personal popularity and strength, especially outside of the D.C. area in northern Virginia,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston. “However, with job approval and head-to-head numbers stuck at 46 percent, it will be a significant challenge for Obama to convince the remaining undecided voters to re-elect him.”
Of the other three presidential candidates remaining on the Virginia ballot, Constitution Party nominee Virgil Goode and Libertarian Gary Johnson each received 1 percent, while Green Party candidate Jill Stein tallied less than 1 percent.
As Obama and Romney prepare for their first televised debate next Wednesday, Old Dominion voters are expecting Obama to best Romney, with 46 percent saying that Obama is the better debater and 19 percent selecting Romney.
“Barack Obama comes into the debate phase of the election with very high expectations, which may be difficult to meet or exceed,” said Paleologos. “A credible performance by Romney could shake up the presidential race in Virginia and elsewhere.”
Economy is top issue
The economy/jobs (51 percent), was the most important issue to voters, followed by health care (14 percent) and education (10 percent). A majority of voters (51 percent) said that Obamacare would be generally bad for Virginia.
U.S. Senate race
In the open race for U.S. Senate, Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican George Allen are tied at 44 percent following a Sept. 20 debate that most voters (88 percent) said they did not watch. Of those who did tune in, 47 percent said that Kaine did better than Allen (41 percent).
Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell is personally popular (46 percent favorable to 23 percent unfavorable). However, voters reject his signing of a bill that requires women seeking an abortion to undergo ultrasound (50 percent oppose to 33 percent support). By a wider margin (56 percent to 32 percent), voters said that policies promoting sex education in school and providing wider access to birth control could effectively reduce the number of abortions in Virginia.
Fifty percent said there is no benefit to a divided government, with one party in control of Congress and the other in control of the White House, while 34 percent said that having the branches divided by party is a good thing.
“Cross-over voters beware: This poll finding raises the stakes for Obama-Kaine or Romney-Allen in a commonwealth that could tip both the red-blue coloring of the electoral map and the Senate majority,” said Paleologos.
Even given the close race, Obama is winning the perception game. When voters were asked who they thought would be elected president, 53 percent said Obama, and 30 percent said Romney.
In the 2009 Virginia governor’s race, Suffolk polling recorded a 14-point landslide win for Republican Bob McDonnell. He won by 17.5 points. In the 2008 presidential election in Virginia, Suffolk polling predicted a Barack Obama win with 51 percent of the vote. Obama received 52.6 percent.
The statewide survey of 600 likely Virginia general-election voters was conducted Sept. 24-26, using live telephone interviews of landline and cell phone users. The margin of error is +/-4 percent at a 95 percent level of confidence. Marginals and cross-tabulation data will be posted at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, on the Suffolk University Political Research Center Web site.
Suffolk University, located in historic downtown Boston, with an international campus in Madrid, is a comprehensive global institution distinguished by the teaching and the intellectual contributions of its faculty. Suffolk University offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs in more than 90 areas of study. Its mission is to provide access to excellence in higher education to students of all ages and backgrounds, with strong emphasis on diversity.