New poll shows Obama with razor thin margin over Romney in Virginia

Posted at 10:43 AM, Nov 05, 2012
and last updated 2012-11-05 10:44:09-05

(CNN) – A new poll released Monday indicates that President Barack Obama has a razor thin margin over Mitt Romney in Virginia, a crucial battleground state with 13 electoral votes.

Forty-eight percent of likely voters in the state back the president, while 47% support the GOP presidential nominee, according to the NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist survey. The one-point margin is well within the poll’s sampling error, meaning the two candidates are statistically tied.

One percent said they favor a different candidate, while three percent said they had not made up their minds.

The poll was conducted entirely after Superstorm Sandy hit the U.S. East Coast and damaged parts of Northern Virginia and the commonwealth’s shoreline.

Among independents, Romney has a five-point edge over the incumbent president, while Obama has a modest advantage over his Republican challenger among women, 51%-45%. The gender gap, however, is half the amount from the same poll last month.

Geographically, Obama is leading in the densely-populated Washington, D.C. suburbs, while Romney has the edge in other parts of Northern Virginia, the central/western part of the state, the Richmond area and eastern part of the state, according to the poll.

The NBC/WSJ/Marist poll falls in line with a CBS News/New York Times/Quinnipiac survey, which was released last week and indicated Obama had a slender two-point margin over Romney in Virginia. However, two earlier polls showed Romney with the advantage over Obama. A Roanoke College poll had the GOP nominee ahead by five points, while a FOX News poll indicated Romney had a two-point edge.

Both campaigns visit the Old Dominion on Monday, one day before the election. Romney makes two stops in Virginia, while Vice President Joe Biden also travels through the state.

Obama narrowly carried Virginia in 2008 by six percent over Sen. John McCain, becoming the first Democrat in four decades to win the state. In the last four years, however, Republicans have taken several statewide seats, including the governorship.

In the high-profile Senate race, Democrat Tim Kaine, a former governor of the state and former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, has a three-point margin over Republican George Allen, a former U.S. senator from the state and also a former governor. Kaine has the support of 49% of likely voters, compared to Allen at 46%, the survey found.

For the survey, 1,165 likely voters were interviewed by telephone from November 1 through November 2, with a sampling error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.