President Obama holds a small-but-significant lead over Mitt Romney in potentially decisive Virginia, according to results of a new Washington Post poll published on Friday.
Obama leads Romney among registered voters, 51 percent to 44 percent, according to the poll. That is nearly identical to the last Washington Post poll in the commonwealth one year ago, which showed Obama leading Romney, 50 percent to 44 percent.
Among Democrats, Obama holds a whopping 93 percent of the vote, while Romney wins 89 percent of Republicans. Self-identified independents favor Obama, 54 percent to 38 percent.
Obama leads Romney by only four points among men, but he holds a 20-point lead—57 percent to 37 percent—among women.
Obama captures 38 percent of the white vote, compared with 56 percent for Romney. In 2008, according to exit polls, Obama won 39 percent of white voters, while Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., won 60 percent. Nonwhites break heavily for Obama, 84 percent to 12 percent.
Virginia is considered a critical state for both campaigns. Romney held an event on Thursday in the Hampton Roads-area city of Portsmouth with the commonwealth's Republican governor, Bob McDonnell, and Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. On Wednesday, Romney was in Virginia's D.C. suburbs, appearing at an event in Chantilly and a fundraiser in Arlington. Meanwhile, Obama will also travel across the Potomac River to Arlington on Friday to hold a round-table and deliver remarks on student-loan debt, The Post reported.
In addition to the presidential race, Virginia is home to one of the nation's most competitive—and sure-to-be-expensive—Senate races, between Democratic former Gov. Tim Kaine and former Republican Sen. George Allen. The Post did not report results of their poll for the Senate race—those results are expected in coming days—but other public surveys have shown the two marquee candidates neck-and-neck.
The poll surveyed 1,101 adults, including 964 registered voters, from April 28 through May 2. The overall margin of error is plus-or-minus 3.5 percentage points. Results among subgroups were reported for all adults in an effort to increase their sample sizes and make the results more significant.