The Obama OBL Poll Bounce in Virginia

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 9 2011 8:19 AM

The Obama OBL Poll Bounce in Virginia

The Washington Post poll of Virginia, which finds a dead heat in the U.S. Senate race between Tim Kaine and George Allen, finds President Obama bouncing to a solid lead. His numbers surged after the OBL capture was announced. The most likely Republican candidates went from striking distance to McCain numbers, or worse.

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The bin Laden bounce, by itself, won't last. Obama could used it as the start of a ballsier, less apologetic approach to everything, and the anecdotes in the poll suggest that'd work for him. (Note the truck driver who says, in a Tim Allen-esque way, "I’ve seen a lot more power coming from the office in the last few days.") And surely it's bad for Republicans that Obama was leading even before OBL was killed. Do the math: Obama can afford to lose Ohio, Florida, Iowa, and New Hampshire, if he just holds the rest of the Al Gore states, wins heavily Hispanic Nevada and Colorado, and puts together the black voter/NoVa coalition again in Virginia.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.