President Obama leads in his effort to keep Virginia in Democrats' column in the 2012 presidential election.

A poll of Virginia voters found that Obama would top five of his would-be GOP challengers in the Old Dominion State, which he won for Democrats for the first time since the election of 1964.


Fifty percent of Virginia's registered voters said they would choose Obama over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R), whom 44 percent of voters said they would support, according to a Washington Post poll released Monday.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) is the only other candidate against the incumbent president who keeps it relatively close; 44 percent of Virginia voters would choose him, while 52 percent would prefer Obama.

Obama enjoys more substantial leads over former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R), former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) and Donald TrumpDonald TrumpUS gives examples of possible sanctions relief to Iran GOP lawmaker demands review over FBI saying baseball shooting was 'suicide by cop' House passes bill aimed at stopping future Trump travel ban MORE.

Obama would beat Pawlenty, 54-36 percent, with 6 percent expressing no opinion on the race — a higher figure than the other contests, and perhaps reflecting Pawlenty's relatively low name ID at this point.

The president also enjoys strong leads over Palin and Trump, the star of NBC's "The Apprentice." Fifty-nine percent of voters would choose Obama in a match-up against Palin, who scored 33 percent. And Obama would best Trump, 58 percent to 32.

If the numbers hold, Obama would seem well-positioned to hold onto Virginia, a state he first won as part of his expanded electoral map strategy in 2008. He helped Democrats down-ballot to victories throughout the state, though many of them gave back those wins in elections in 2009 and 2010, setting up Virginia as one of the key swing-states in the 2012 election.

The Post poll was conducted over the course of the last week, both before and after the killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. In more detailed figures testing public opinion of those match-ups before and after last Sunday's news, Obama appears to have enjoyed a bump against those candidates, though he held a lead over all five beforehand.

The poll, conducted April 28-May 4, has a 3.5 percent margin of error.