LAUDERHILL, FL - OCTOBER 22: Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine during a stop to encourage voters to participate in the election at an early voting station October 22, 2010 in Lauderhill, Florida. Kaine was visiting Florida to show his support for Senatorial candidate Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-FL) and other party candidates on the election ballot. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Democrat Tim Kaine now has a five-point lead over Republican George Allen in a new Virginia Senate race poll released Thursday.
The Public Policy Polling survey, conducted Dec. 10-12 among 600 Virginia voters, shows that Kaine would receive 47 percent compared to Allen's 42 percent, with 11 percent undecided.
PPP said that in the four polls it has taken this year on the Senate race, Kaine has "gained every time" on Allen. They were tied in PPP's February poll, then Kaine went ahead by two points in May, then three points in July and now five points in December.
More from PPP:
Kaine has been at 46 percent or 47 percent in each poll, remarkably consistent. While Allen has slipped from 47 percent to 44 percent to 43 percent to 42 percent, those defectors are falling into the undecided camp, not Kaine’s, indicating this will likely remain a close race and that those waffling former Allen backers may end up back in his camp in the end.
The state is split almost evenly three ways between Democrats, Republicans, and
independents, and the two-party vote has been polarized in each poll. But while Kaine trailed with independents in the first poll, he has led in the last three, making this a rare state where independents make a decisive difference.
The margin of error for the survey is +/-4.0 percent.