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Morning Read: Romney Catches Up To Obama In Virginia

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AFP/Getty Images
    US presidential hopeful Mitt Romney speaks during a visit to Weatherly Casting Company in Weatherly, Pennsylvania, June 16, 2012. AFP PHOTO/Emmanuel Dunand (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/GettyImages)

    A new poll found that Mitt Romney closed in on President Obama’s lead in Virginia, putting the race at a statistical tie.

    According to the Quinnipiac University poll, Romney and Obama are deadlocked in the swing state of Virginia 44 percent to 44 percent.

    In the University’s March 20 survey, Obama led 50 to 42 percent and, more recently, Obama was ahead 47-42 percent in early June.

    The poll also showed that the Senate race between two former Virginia governors remains tight.

    Republican George Allen leads Democrat Tim Kaine 46 to 44 percent. The 2 point lead is within the poll's margin of error.

    Support is largely split along party lines and independent voters go 44 percent for Kaine and 42 percent for Allen, a tie.

    "The Senate race remains a dog fight and every indication is it will remain that way until November 6," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Interestingly the vast majority of voters say their votes in the Senate race will be about the candidates themselves and have no relation to their feelings about the president."

    So, just how seriously should we take the poll? Here’s The Hill’s take:

    There's a bit of evidence that this latest poll may have favored Republicans in it's 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 seven points and Sen. Jim Webb down five. 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 shift.

    * Another Quinnipiac University poll found that most Virginia resident approve of the reinstatement of ousted UVA President Teresa Sullivan.

    According to the poll, 27 percent of voters have a favorable opinion of Sullivan, 21 percent have an unfavorable opinion of University Rector Helen Dragas and most respondents have no opinion.

    “The U-Va. leadership soap opera played out with little impact on Virginia voters,’’ said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling institute. “Among the voters who followed the drama, there was a public relations winner, Dr. Teresa Sullivan, and a loser, Helen Dragas.’’

    * In other polling news, a majority of District residents say Mayor Vincent C. Gray should resign, according to a new Washington Post poll.

    Fifty-four percent overall say Gray should resign, while 37 percent say he should not and 9 percent have no opinion.

    Read the full story here.

    Forbes seems to have found a possible bright light in all the legal battles and scandals that surround D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray: his legal bill are tax deductible.

    But even if Gray is charged, one consolation should be tax deductions for what will almost certainly be big legal bills. As with the recent prosecution of John Edwards, any charges will likely relate to Gray’s conduct in his chosen trade or business: politics.

    That arguably makes his legal fees deductible. If you’re in business, business related legal fees and settlement payments are generally tax-deductible. Even criminal charges don’t prevent it.

    * The U.S. House Judiciary Committee approved legislation that would ban abortions in the District after the twentieth week of pregnancy.

    The legislation now moves to the House floor, where it is expected to pass.

    District officials are largely against this measure and D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton was blocked from giving her input on the legislation. Read more about that here.

    President Obama will open three new offices in Virginia

    Obama’s campaign opened three more offices in Virginia Wednesday, bring his total in the state to 20 offices. The new offices are in Hampton, Portsmouth and Martinsville.