WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama holds a 50 percent to 42 percent lead over Republican Mitt Romney heading into the presidential election in voter-rich Northern Virginia, a new WTOP Beltway Poll finds.
Virginia is considered a must win for both candidates in the November presidential election.
This latest Heart+Mind Strategies telephone poll has a 4.17 percent margin of error. The poll shows the president increasing his lead by six points from a similar poll taken in July.
The poll included the Northern Virginia counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, Spotsylvania and Stafford.
Southern Virginia, where Republicans usually fare better, wasn't included in the poll.
The poll also shows Obama running strong in D.C. and six suburban Maryland counties in the region.
The Maryland counties included in WTOP's Beltway Poll are Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Frederick, Montgomery and Prince George's.
The president has a 64 percent to 26 percent lead over Romney in those suburban counties. Romney has only 6 percent support in heavily Democratic D.C.
That same poll also took a snapshot of the key U.S. Senate race between Republican George Allen and Democrat Tim Kaine in Virginia.
Kaine is leading Allen 53 percent to 40 percent in the counties polled in Northern Virginia. That's an increase of six points since a similar poll in July and also above the margin of error.
Allen is expected to run stronger in southern Virginia, which was outside the polling area for the WTOP Beltway Poll.
Editor's Note: The D.C. metro phone survey was conducted by Heart+Mind Strategies among 550 adults age 18 and over, between Sept. 13 and Sept. 20, 2012. This included representative samples of 200 people in Virginia (Arlington, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, Spotsylvania, Stafford) 250 in Maryland (Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Frederick, Montgomery, Prince George's) and 100 in D.C.
(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)