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Poll: Obama, Romney In Dead Heat In Virginia

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President Obama’s lead in Virginia has evaporated.

A new Quinnipiac poll out this morning shows Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney tied, 44-44 percent, in the commonwealth, a critical toss-up state.

Obama led by eight in the poll in March, 50-42 percent, and five a month ago, 47-42 percent.

"Virginia voters are sharply split along gender and political lines about the presidential race. The two candidates equally hold their own political bases and are splitting the key independent vote down the middle," Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a press release. "One small edge that President Barack Obama has is likability. Voters have a slightly more favorable opinion of the president than they do Gov. Mitt Romney."

Obama’s approval rating in the state is just 45 percent.

"... neither man is exactly Mr. Popularity," Brown added. "One of them is going to win the White House, but neither would get elected Prom King."

One factor for the shift could be that in the last month, with the help of pro-Romney outside groups, there are more anti-Obama TV ads on in the state than pro-Obama ones.

Romney and allies have spent $10.6 million during the stretch from early June through July, compared to Obama and allies spending $10.1 million.


Domenico Montanaro is NBC News' Deputy Political Editor and an NBC News First Read analyst. Read the national edition of First Read featuring Chuck Todd, Mark Murray and Domenico on NBCNews.com.

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