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Poll: Kaine early choice of Dems in 2012 Senate race

Tim Kaine has the solid support of Democratic primary voters in the early, early runup to the 2012 U.S. Senate race.

The former governor and current chairman of the Democratic National Committee was the choice of 53 percent of those polled by Public Policy Polling late last month. Congressman Bobby Scott and former congressmen Tom Perriello and Rick Boucher were in a tie for second in the polling at 9 percent each.

“Tim Kaine is the heavy-hitter who would be the strongest candidate against George Allen or any of the other Republicans,” said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling. “We’re showing Kaine and Allen neck-and-neck, but right now, Allen has healthy leads over the other two little-known Democrats, Boucher and Perriello.”

Kaine’s support is broad-based – 56 percent of moderate voters, 56 percent of “somewhat liberal” voters and 50 percent each of “very liberal” and “somewhat conservative” voters sided with Kaine in the poll.

Kaine has not announced his intentions for the Democratic Party nomination. Incumbent Sen. Jim Webb, a Democrat, said last month that he will not seek a second term in next year’s elections.

Story by Chris Graham. Chris can be reached at