Republican Bob McDonnell's lead over Democrat Creigh Deeds is down to about 5 points, according to the latest poll from Public Policy Polling.
When you dive down into the numbers of the latest poll we're seeing some interesting dynamics play out. According to the poll 53 percent of the undecided voters are Democrats, a sign that Deeds isn't exactly lighting the world on fire - even when it comes to his campaign. Only 7 percent of the undecided voters are Republicans.
Meanwhile, McDonnell is having no trouble rallying the base, something that most folks predicted with the wave of Barack Obama led legislation dominating the news cycle in Washington - and the fresh sting of last year's presidential defeat.
McDonnell also enjoys a health advantage when it comes to independent voters - hitting the mark at about 53 percent to 37 percent - so that is a good sign for the GOP team which has been promising to reach out to anyone and everyone who will listen.
The good news for Deeds is that if these folks called themselves Democrats, then they are likely to end up voting for the Democrat in the race. That large pool of Democrats could probably be linked to Obama's campaign from 2008 - and when Obama makes a barnstorming tour for Deeds you might see those numbers turn around.
Here's a little more analysis:
The increasingly negative tone of the race appears to be hurting both candidates' standing with the voters. McDonnell's net favorability has dropped from +22 (53/31) a month ago to now just +5 (47/42). Deeds has seen a similar although less dramatic decline from +12 (47/35) to +1 (43/42).
Bob McDonnell's thesis is having a mixed impact on the race. Only 2% of people who say they supported him a month ago now say they're going to vote for Deeds, so the extent to which the thesis is changing people's minds is limited. But it may be playing a role in increasing Democratic turnout. In our last poll those planning to vote this year had voted for John McCain by a 49-45 margin. Now the likely electorate voted for Barack Obama by a 48-45 margin, indicating intended Democratic turnout is now pushing closer to what it was last year. The thesis may not have turned McDonnell votes into Deeds votes, but it looks like it is helping to turn non-voters into Deeds votes.
52% of voters say they're very familiar with the thesis and McDonnell actually has a 55-41 with that group, reflecting the fact that Republicans are more engaged this year and following the campaign more closely. Deeds is up 56-41 with the 29% of voters who claim moderate knowledge of the thesis.