By Justin Sink
A new survey shows Mitt Romney tied with President Obama in the battleground state of Virginia — exciting news for a Republican challenger who has consistently trailed in recent polling of the state.
The survey, released Thursday by Quinnipiac University, shows each candidate garnering 44 percent of the vote. That's a five-point swing in Romney's favor since early June.
The poll comes a day after a CBS/New York Times poll showed Romney with a narrow 1-point lead, the first national survey in weeks to show the Republican challenger ahead. And, as with the national numbers, Romney seems buoyed by voters' perceptions on the economy. Virginians surveyed said the Republican challenger would do a better job on the economy, by a 47-44 percent margin.
There's a bit of evidence that this latest poll might have favored Republicans in its sampling, however.
In early excerpts of the poll released Wednesday, the state's Democratic senators both saw significant drops in their approval ratings, with Sen. Mark Warner down 7 points and Sen. Jim Webb down 5. Both Democrats now hold their lowest approval rating numbers in the poll's history — a curious shift, considering that neither has made the sort of headlines in recent weeks that would precede such a change.
The numbers should make Old Dominion Democrats wary, especially if economic concerns in the commonwealth continue to drive voters toward Republican candidates.