In a run down of congressional races in the South this week, the Southern Political Report rated Virginia's 2nd Congressional Districtcontest between U.S. Rep. Scott Rigell, R-Virginia Beach, and Democratic challenger Paul Hirschbiel as a "Toss-up."
Prior to this the political insider website had the race between the two Virginia Beach businessmen as "Lean Republican."
Southern Political Report analyst Hastings Wyman said Hirschbiel could be buoyed by recent polls that give the advantage to up-ticket Democrats President Barack Obama and U.S. Senate candidate and former Gov. Tim Kaine.
RealClearPolitics.com, which maintains a running average from a number of polls, currently has Obama leading in Virginia by four and a half percentage points — 49.6 percent to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's 45.1. A Quinnipiac University/New York Times/CBS News poll released last week had Kaine with 51 percent over his GOP opponent, former Gov. and former U.S. Sen. George Allen, who came in at 44 percent.
"Freshman Scott Rigell (R) is receiving a tough, well-financed challenge from venture capitalist Paul Hirschbiel (D). Both are wealthy, though Rigell might be a bit wealthier,"Wyman wrote. "Rigell received some good headlines recently when the House passed his drywall safety bill, aimed at preventing the difficulties some of his constituents experienced from using tainted drywall imported from China. Hirschbiel is running as a moderate, recently contending that the Democratic Dodd-Frank banking reform bill will hurt some small businesses obtain loans. If the current rise in the polls of Obama and Senate candidate Tim Kaine (D) continues, it could boost Hirschbiel, but Kaine’s gaffe about considering a tax increase for everyone may have broken such a straight-ticket chain. Toss-up."