Analysis: Senate race will get na-a-a-sty

It’s been known since the spring of 2011 that the November 2012 U.S. Senate race would pit two former governors, Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican George Allen, head to head.

It’s also been known since each announced his candidacy that the race was tight.

Tracking the polls since the particulars became known, neither candidate has been able to distance himself from the other even for a brief period of time. And that’s where things stand today, with the RealClearPolitics poll average declaring the Kaine-Allen race a dead heat.

This is in light of millions of dollars having already been spent by the two sides on their campaigns that have had them touring the state and blasting each other into the stratosphere with negative TV ads that have each looking only a slight bit better as a potential United States senator than Satan himself would be.

Interestingly, there, one could easily see how each candidate could actually feel good about where they are.

They’ve each taken the other side’s best shots, in a manner of speaking, and the race is still tied.

The big question is, Where do things go from here? In a more traditional walkup to a fall election, the candidates spend the months leading up to the final stretch run building support, raising money, kissing babies, that kind of thing, and then go all out to the finish with a flourish of stinging attacks and negative TV ads.

The Kaine-Allen race has been that and more for several months on end now.

A campaign is supposed to be a marathon, not a sprint, but each side has been running pretty hard for around 20 miles or so. There’s still six miles-plus to go, and at some point one or the other or both are going to start feeling spent.

It’s hard to imagine what the tipping point will be in this race, if there ever will be an obvious tipping point, even in retrospect.

We can expect one thing to be the case between now and Election Day. It’s already dirty, and it’s not going to get any less dirty between now and Nov. 6.

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