A NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll released Wednesday gives Democratic U.S. Senate candidate and former Gov. Tim Kaine a five percentage point lead over his Republican opponent and former Gov. George Allen.
In the poll of 1,273 Virginia likely voters shows Kaine with 49 percent to Allen's 44 percent.
Up until two weeks ago polls had showed the two candidates in a dead heat to replace retiring Sen. Jim Webb, when three polls gave Kaine the lead.
Wednesday's NBC News/WSJ/Marist poll has Kaine and Allen even among likely voters within the Tidewater region. In the region the poll had Kaine with 47 percent to Allen's 45 percent - well within the poll's plus or minus 2.7 percentage point margin of error.
Allen held a lead among men with 47 percent to Kaine's 44 percent, while Kaine lead among women 51 percent to 41 percent.
The poll, released on the day President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney are schuled to hold their first debate, judged the presidential race a "Tossup" in Virginia.
Obama received 48 percent to Romney's 46 percent - again within the margin of error.
In the Tidewater region Romney had 46 percent to Obama's 45 percent.
Romney lead among men 48 percent to 45 percent; while Obama lead among women 52 percent to 44 percent.
The poll was conducted between Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.