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Va. is Up for Grabs; Allen, Kaine Take Center Stage

Tim Craig

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) and former governor and U.S. senator George Allen (R) stood side-by-side this morning on NBC's Today Show.

Host Matt Lauer was broadcasting from Williamsburg as part of the Today Show's tour of battleground states. NBC released a poll it commissioned with Mason-Dixon Polling Research Inc. that showed GOP presidential nominee John McCain with a 3-point edge over Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee, in Virginia. McCain's 47 percent to 44 percent advantage is within the poll's margin of error, confirming that Virginia's 13 electoral votes are up for grabs.

During the segment, Kaine and Allen took turns touting their favored candidate.

"Virginias don't like the direction of the economy and national security in Washington," said Kaine, a co-chair of Obama's national campaign. "They want change. They want better."

Allen countered, "The key issues for Virginia are national security, energy security, lower taxes and that is why I think, ultimately, John McCain will win Virginia."

Allen and Kaine agreed that they don't think Obama's race will be a factor in the election, noting Virginia elected the nation's first African-American governor in 1989. And, according to Lauer, Kaine and Allen spent a little time before the segment straightening each other's tie for the camera.

By Tim Craig  |  September 24, 2008; 7:38 AM ET
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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