A look ahead: Virginia 2012

Next year, Virginians will vote for president and U.S. senator. In the senate race, former governor Timothy M. Kaine (D) and former senator George Allen (R) will face economic and federal budget issues. Virginians are more positive about the state's direction than the country's. Residents have also tipped toward supporting gay marriage five years after enacting a ban. When asked about the presidential race, Virginians give President Obama a lift in approval after the killing of Osama bin Laden, but worries about the economy and federal debt keep him vulnerable.

  • U.S. Senate
  • President
  • Governor
  • Social issues

Virginia Senate 2012: An early look

Former Democratic governor Timothy M. Kaine and former Republican senator George Allen begin the U.S. Senate matchup with similarly deep statewide experience, proven fundraising ability and broad name recognition. The economy and federal budget have emerged as leading issues this year, a stark contrast to 2006, when Allen narrowly lost to Democrat James Webb in the race for U.S. Senate.


Bin Laden killing gives Obama lift in Virginia

President Obama’s approval ratings rose after the targeted killing of Osama bin Laden, with an immediate boost to his reelection outlook. But economic woes and increased sense that federal government is overreaching keep the president vulnerable in a key state.


Virginians rosy about direction, leadership

Virginians are significantly more positive about the way things are going in the state, compared with the direction of the country. Gov. McDonnell and the state’s U.S. senators get solid marks for the jobs they’re doing.


Shift on gay marriage in Virginia

Virginians have tipped toward supporting gay marriage just five years after voting to ban it in the state Constitution. There's a far more even division on the question, and another controversial topic - same-sex adoption - draws majority support in a new poll.


SOURCE: Washington Post poll. GRAPHIC: The Washington Post. Published May 9, 2011.