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2nd Democratic poll shows tight race for Perriello

Ben Pershing

Rep. Tom Perriello's (D-Va.) campaign released a poll Tuesday showing their candidate within the margin of error against state Sen. Robert Hurt (R), the second survey of the 5th congressional district this month to show a competitive race.

The new poll, conducted by Benenson Strategy Group for Perriello's campaign, showed Hurt leading, 46 percent to 44 percent, with independent candidate Jeffrey Clark picking up 4 percent, and 5 percent undecided. The poll's margin of error was plus or minus 4.9 percent. The findings were similar to those of a survey released in early September, taken by Global Strategy Group for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, showing Hurt ahead, 44 percent to 42 percent.

Why do Democrats keep releasing polls of this race? Because Republicans have aggressively shopped the notion that the contest is slipping away from Perriello and that national Democrats might withhold financial and organizational resources from Perriello in favor of other, more competitive candidates. Before this month, polls of the contest varied widely -- a survey taken for a GOP-leaning group showed Perriello down 6 points, while two polls taken by SurveyUSA for WDBJ News in Roanoke showed Perriello trailing by 23 and 26 points. (Those surveys have been dismissed as flawed by Democrats and some independent observers.)

Whatever the actual numbers, this contest is widely viewed as one of the most competitive in the country. The Fix rates it the 15th-most likely seat to switch parties in November.

By Ben Pershing  | September 21, 2010; 4:00 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races, Ben Pershing, Election 2010, Robert Hurt, Tom Perriello  
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