This post has been updated.
Mitt Romney has wooed enough women voters to make the presidential race too close to call in Virginia, according to a new poll that also finds the U.S. Senate race between Timothy M. Kaine and George Allen narrowing.
President Obama leads Republican challenger Romney, 49 to 47 percent, among likely Virginia voters in a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday. Obama’s advantage is within the poll’s margin of error and represents a dip since Quinnipiac’s Oct. 11 poll, which had Obama up over Romney, 51 percent to 46 percent.
A Washington Post poll released last weekend also found Romney cutting into Obama’s lead in Virginia. The Post’s poll showed Obama up four points, 51 to 47 percent, down from the eight-point advantage he held in mid-September.
The Quinnipiac poll also finds that Democratic former governor Kaine’s lead over Republican former governor Allen is narrowing in the race to succeed retiring Sen. James Webb (D).
Kaine leads Allen in that poll, 50 to 46 percent, compared to 51 percent
to 44 percent in Quinnipiac’s Oct. 11 survey.
The Post poll had Kaine up over Allen by seven points, 51 to 44 percent.
The Quinnipiac poll also found that Romney had narrowed the gap in Florida, where the race was too close to call, but that Obama had held onto a five-point lead in Ohio.
“After being subjected to what seems like a zillion dollars’ worth of television ads and personal attention from the two candidates reminiscent of a high-school crush, the key swing states of Florida and Virginia are too close to call with the election only days away,” Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a prepared statement. “President Barack Obama clings to a 5-point lead in Ohio, but Gov. Mitt Romney has narrowed the president’s lead that existed in Florida and Virginia before the first debate.”
Despite direct Democratic appeals to women in Virginia, where state-level abortion politics have boiled over all year, Romney gained ground with that demographic in the Quinnipiac poll. Obama still enjoys a double-digit lead with Virginia women, but the gap has narrowed since the Oct. 11 survey from 16 points to 10. Women prefer Obama over Romney by a margin of 53 to 43 percent in the newest poll, compared to 56 percent for Obama and 40 percent in the previous survey.
Even more dramatic was the swing by independent voters toward Romney. Virginia independents broke about even in the Oct. 11 poll, with 48 percent for Obama and 46 percent for Romney. In the newest survey, Romney enjoys a 21-point lead among independents; 57 percent favor the former Massachusetts governor and 36 percent back the president.
Quinnipiac conducted the poll, along with The New York Times and CBS news, between Oct. 23 and 28. They surveyed 1,074 likely Virginia voters via land lines and cellphones for that state’s portion of the poll, which had a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.