A new Roanoke College poll is out showing:

With 14 months remaining until the 2012 election, Virginia’s U.S. Senate race is a statistical dead heat. Republican George Allen leads Democrat Tim Kaine 42% to 39% with 19% undecided. President Obama trails some potential Republican opponents, but he leads others. The generic (unnamed) Republican leads Obama 41% to 33%; Mitt Romney leads 45% to 37%; and Rick Perry leads by an statistically insignificant 42% to 40%. At the same time, Obama leads potential opponents Michele Bachmann (46% to 35%), Ron Paul (43% to 33%), and Sarah Palin (50% to 31%). Looking only at registered voters, none of those margins change by more than 1 percent and several do not change at all. Within two key groups, Kaine leads among Moderates (52%-30%), but Allen leads among Independents (42%-33%). Obama also performs better among Moderates and not as well with Independents.*

Gov. Bob McDonnell’s rating is even more noteworthy: a whopping 67 percent approve of his performance. “Obama’s approval rating is 39%, while 54% disapprove of the job he is doing as President. Congress fares even worse among respondents, with an 11% approval rating. Virginians are much more likely to approve of their own member of the House of Representatives, however. They enjoy a 41% approval rating, with only 36% disapproving. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has an approval rating of 67%, while a similar number (67%) approve of the job U.S. Sen. Mark Warner is doing.”

Recall that, in 2008, Obama won the state and Democrats won House seats and the open Senate seat. McDonnell’s election in 2009 and Obama’s miserable performance have certainly changed the political direction of the state.

If repeated in other swing states, Obama will face an uphill battle in not only Virginia, but also Florida, Ohio, Indiana, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and New Hampshire. At some point an electoral path to the nomination becomes near impossible.

As for McDonnell himself, he remains at the top of the short list of VP picks. And if New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie doesn’t take the plunge, could McDonnell enter the race for the top of the ticket? Well, perhaps Christie and McDonnell should confer and decide who will step forward to offer the GOP one last alternative. Time is running out to find an electable, articulate and solid conservative to take on Obama.