WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Young Virginia Voters Could Tip Balance Between Kaine And Allen

Play associated audio
Former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, left, and Former Senator George Allen, right, greet each other after the AP Day at the Capitol Senatorial debate at the Capitol iin Richmond, Va., , Dec.. 7, 2011,
(AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, left, and Former Senator George Allen, right, greet each other after the AP Day at the Capitol Senatorial debate at the Capitol iin Richmond, Va., , Dec.. 7, 2011,

Poll after poll shows that the race to fill Virginia's open Senate seat is at a standstill, with former Republican senator and governor George Allen in a virtual tie with former Democratic governor and Democratic Party chairman Tim Kaine.

The race is even tighter than the presidential contest in Virginia, which is seen as a key swing state this year. President Barack Obama has stronger support in Virginia than Kaine, despite being from the same party.

"I'm sure Kaine will get the vast majority of black votes, but maybe if there was a little bit of an undervote or perhaps Kaine might not be getting quite the level of black support that Obama is getting, that may be a small factor but potentially an important one," says Kyle Kondick of the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

So who are the undecided voters who would tip the balance?

"To some extent, they are the younger voters, because they don't identify strongly with either party," says Toni-Michelle Travis, professor at George Mason University. She says the growing number of independent voters has helped create the deadlock between Allen and Kaine.

"What we are seeing is the weakening of party ties and the ascendency of voting for individuals because we like an individual or his policies," says Travis.

Meanwhile, Virginia remains a key battleground state. Democrats say they have a path to victory without Virginia, although Republicans say they need the commonwealth to win.

NPR

Musicians 'Let It All Out' At MTV's Video Music Awards

Complex magazine writer Alex Gale talks about the more than 30-year history and previews what to expect for Sunday night's Video Music Awards on MTV.
NPR

Japan's Centuries-Old Tradition Of Making Soba Noodles

In the remote mountains of the Japanese island of Shikoku, an old woman makes soba noodles by hand from locally grown buckwheat. It's ancient technique that is adapting to modern times.
WAMU 88.5

D.C. Department Shakeup Raises Questions About Pay-To-Play Politics

Turnover at a major D.C. government department is raising questions about local businesses, political contributions and influence in city politics.

NPR

A Hero For The Arts And Sciences: Upcoming Marvel Covers Promote STEAM Fields

The five covers feature the company's heroes — including Spiderman, Iron Man, and the Hulk — all engaging in activities educators have been trying to promote.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.