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Allen leads Kaine in poll; GOP primary opponents a non-factor

Rasmussen reports released a poll [1] of likely Virginia voters today showing that Republican George Allen has a 1 point advantage over Democrat Tim Kaine in the race for U.S. Senate.

Well within the margin of error, it is clear this race is in the very early stages and will only get more entertaining as the year goes on.

What’s more important about the survey was this nugget:

(4%) like another candidate in the race

In other words, as we and others have been saying for a very long time, it is an extremely uphill climb [2] for Republican candidates Jamie Radtke, E.W. Jackson, and Bob Marshall. Not to mention Allen’s huge fundraising advantage [3] over these candidates (yet he only remains neck-and-neck with Kaine).

Not to mention that THIS number is within the margin of error of +/- 4.5%!

The question then becomes, why are they in the race? Do they believe that the upcoming debates will make a key difference in gaining more votes? Is there enough time – just over a month – to change the perception of most likely Virginia Republican primary voters that Allen should not be the nominee?

Radtke and Jackson have been campaigning for nearly a year and have made very little headway against Allen – both extensively traveling Virginia and speaking to thousands of Republican activists. Marshall, who only recently has been able to get into the race because his duties with the General Assembly just completed, may make a stir, but will he have time?

I’m sure they all have their motives for continuing in the race, but the results of this poll shows just how little a factor they are right now.