Virginia’s candidates for U.S. Senate are taking a break from the campaign trail and turning their attention to the safety of potential voters as Hurricane Sandy arrived.

Republican George Allen and Democrat Timothy M. Kaine, both former governors, have canceled public events on Monday and Tuesday and are encouraging Virginians to stay indoors and off the roads.

Both candidates,who are engaged in a closely watched contest, also sent e-mails providing detailed information on storm preparation and emergency contact information.

Allen and Kaine have been hunting for votes the old-fashioned way through Virginia as they head into the final days of one of the nation’s most watched races this year.

In The Washington Post’s latest poll, Kaine leads Allen among likely voters by 51 percent to 43 percent, and Kaine is ahead among all registered voters by an identical margin in the hard-fought contest to succeed the retiring James Webb (D).

Virginia is one of several tightly contested races in the country. Democrats are aiming to keep their Senate majority by holding seats in Montana, Missouri and Wisconsin, while Republicans are fighting to keep control of Indiana, Maine and Massachusetts, among others.