But while the ODU poll is more in line with recent findings — showing Obama with a slight, yet statistically significant lead in Virginia — there are encouraging signs for Romney.

Some 60 percent of Virginians say they want to see the country's economic policies become more conservative than they are today — a good sign for Romney, who has been described by more than seven in 10 Virginians as conservative. With the economy expected to dominate the presidential race, the Republican challenger could make up ground, especially against Obama, who is thought of as liberal by two-thirds of Virginians.

Virginia also has a plurality of self-described social conservatives, with 44 percent of respondents identifying themselves in that way. That's compared to just over a third of respondents describing themselves as socially liberal, and the remainder claiming to be moderate on social issues.

The Republican challenger is looking to covert some of those voters during a two-day campaign swing through the state. After speaking Tuesday in Salem, Va., Romney is holding a rally Wednesday in Washington, D.C.'s Northern Virginia suburbs.