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Virginia Senate Race in "Statistical Dead Heat"

Michelle Toh |
November 6, 2012 | 1:22 p.m. PST

Assistant News Editor

Tim Kaine, former DNC Chairman running for Virginia Senate (cliff1066, Creative Commons)
Tim Kaine, former DNC Chairman running for Virginia Senate (cliff1066, Creative Commons)
Former Virginia governors Tim Kaine and George Allen have attracted attention over an unprecedented $53 million in their bid for Senate, making it the most expensive Senate race in the country.

The money comes in large part from outside independent groups, around 60 percent of which was spent either in opposition to Kaine or support of Allen, according to the Washington Post.

The Wisconsin Senate race came in second at $43 million and the Ohio Senate race third at $35 million. Last-minute funding has also been pouring into other Senate races in Ohio, Arizona, Indiana and Missouri, suggesting the anxiety surrounding the balance of power in the Senate. 

With 13 electoral votes, Virginia is a crucial state in determining both the presidency and control of the Senate today. It has been a frequent stop on President Obama's and former Gov. Romney's campaign trail. Mitt and Ann Romney visited George Mason University on Monday, while Obama and a hoarse-voiced Bill Clinton held an outdoor rally on Saturday night.

SEE ALSO: Ohio, Virginia And Florida Will Show Election Outcome

"I have given my voice in the service of my president," Clinton said.

Kaine, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, is vying to defend the seat fellow Democrat Sen. James Webb is vacating.

Allen, who lost his Senate seat in 2006 after making a racial slur to an Indian-American, has spent a significant amount of time this season reaching out to Vietnamese-American voters. Meanwhile, Kaine has appealed to Latino voters in a television ad in Spanish, speaking about "valores" (values).

Both candidates have also directed messages toward women, particularly on the typically controversial issue of abortion. Allen opposes abortion, while Kaine is pro-choice. The conversation, though not surprising, led to a shift in support - after pressure from pro-life groups, Democrats for Life of America decided to revoke their endorsement of Kaine.

SEE ALSO: Where's The Arab Vote? Arab-Americans Rally To Turn Out   

The New York Times reported that the Republican "has latched on to Mitt Romney, hoping that the top of the ticket can still lift him back to the Senate." The two campaigned together in Doswell on Nov. 1, where Allen delivered remarks accusing Kaine of wanting to be Obama's Senator, not Virginia's.

Kaine, who likely could make the same argument about his opponent, has indeed been joining the president at rallies while running advertisements that depict him working with Obama and Bush, stating "Washington needs more partners and fewer partisans." He has also been careful to distinguish his position on issues such as taxation, saying that he would allow tax hikes on couples with a lower income than that of the current administration's position.  

Polls currently show Kaine at a slight lead of 2.6 percent over Allen, though news outlets report that the two candidates are in a deadlock. "Kaine has a slight lead in the polls, but the race is a statistical dead heat," said an L.A. Times article. 

SEE ALSO: Nevada Unions Make Final Push To Mobilize Voters

"No matter who is elected president, he's likely to find that the next Congress will remain what the current one has been for President Barack Obama — a headache," the Richmond Times-Dispatch wrote.


Reach Assistant News Editor Michelle Toh here.



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