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Afternoon Read: Virginia Senate Race in a Deadlock

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The latest Public Policy Polling survey released Wednesday shows that the Virginia senate race is still in a deadlock.

    Democrat Tim Kaine is leading Republican George Allen 46-45.

    PPP, a Democratic fim, points out that the most surprising thing about these numbers is that Kaine is tied with Allen even though Obama leads Romney by eight points in the state.

    A PPP poll released Tuesday shows Obama with a decisive 51 to 43 percent lead over Romney in the battleground state of Virginia.

    But Allen, who like Kaine is a former governor of the state, has a better image among Virginians than Romney.

    Thirty-eight percent of voters have a favorable opinion of Allen while 38 percent have a negative one. With Romney, 38 percent of voters have a favorable opinion of him and 52 percent have a negative one.

    On the Democrat side, Kaine has a 42/37 favorability rating while Obama has a 50/46 rating. The numbers are similar but Kaine has a higher level of “unsures.”

    While Allen is the likely GOP nominee, he still has to battle three other contendors in the GOP primary field. Kaine is not facing anyone in the Democratic primary.

    This senate race is expected to be one of the closest in the nation this year and all eyes are watching.

    In case you missed it, the

    New York Times

    had an in-depth article last week about this tight Virginia race between two ex-governors.

    * A D.C council committee voted down the proposal to extend District bar hours by an extra hour on weekdays and weekends but approved a measure to extend hours for liquor stores.

    The Committee on Human Services voted against the later bar hours in a 2 to 3 vote, with Council members Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) and Michael A. Brown (I-At Large) voting against and Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 7) and Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) voting for it, according to DCist.

    The committee approved a measure that would allow liquor, wine and beer retailers to open at 7 a.m instead of 9 a.m. and permit bars to extend their hours during presidential inaugural weekends. A proposal to allow liquor stores to open on Sundays was not considered.

    The DCist reports that even though the later bar hours measure was voted down in committee, it's not quite dead. Legislators could still reintroduce the idea when the full council votes on the budget.

    * Today may be an important day for the Metro line to Dulles International Airport.

    The head of the U.S. Transportation Department, Ray LaHood, said he is confident that a meeting Wednesday with the major players in the project will offset recent resistance against extending what he calls "America's system" to Dulles International Airport, according to WTOP.

    Via WTOP:

    “LaHood calls the Metro network "America's system," citing the 2 million people who rode it to get to the inauguration of President Barack Obama in 2009. For that reason, the federal government is contributing $1 billion to the extension.”

    * Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is expected to sign more than 270 bills into law today. Watch the ceremony livestreamed here.

    * President Barack Obama announced that he would officially launch his national campaign for reelection in Virginia on May 5.

    But the president will be in Virginia a day earlier to speak to parents and students at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington to discuss the need to urge congress to prevent the rate on subsidized student loans from doubling on July 1, according to The Post.