Virginia Senate race continues amid storm

Posted at 12:04 PM, Oct 29, 2012
and last updated 2012-10-29 12:04:54-04

By Kevin Liptak

(CNN) — The tight race for U.S. Senate in Virginia continued Monday, despite the historic storm bearing down on the state.

Tim Kaine, the Democratic candidate, held an event in Stanardsville, north of Charlottesville in the western part of the commonwealth. His afternoon events, slated for Culpeper and Fauquier Counties, were all canceled, as his campaign said events scheduled for Tuesday would also be scrubbed as the storm blows through.

“As a former Governor who’s dealt with a number of emergency situations, he is urging everyone to prepare and exercise caution,” his spokesman Brandi Hoffine said Monday.

His opponent, Republican George Allen, canceled all events, according to his deputy communications director Emily Davis.

“George Allen has canceled all campaign events today to encourage Virginians to stay safe and off the roads as Hurricane Sandy approaches,” Davis said.

Both candidates emailed supporters reminding them to remove yard signs, which could become dangerous projectiles in the gusts expected for Virginia. Allen, in his email, also told recipients to check on neighbors and ensure pets are kept safely inside.

“In challenging times, we see the strength of our communities – neighbors helping neighbors, Virginians working together to keep our Commonwealth a great place to live, work and raise a family,” Allen wrote.

Kaine and Allen are battling to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Jim Webb. Both have served as governors of Virginia, and Allen also served as a senator from the commonwealth from 2001-2007. Kaine previously served as the chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

A poll released Sunday from the Washington Post showed Kaine with an eight point advantage over his Republican rival. Kaine was at 51% among likely voters and Allen was at 44%. That was virtually unchanged from a poll conducted in mid-September.

Kaine favorability rating was at 57%, compared to 50% for Allen. A gender gap persisted in the race, mirroring polls showing a similar phenomenon in the race for president. Kaine was ahead among women by 18 percentage points, while Allen held a four point edge among men.

Whites were more likely to back Allen – 56% said they would support him on Election Day. Conversely, 77% of non-whites supported Kaine.

The Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone Oct. 22-26 from 1,228 likely voters. The sampling error was plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

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