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VA poll: McDonnell up eight points

From NBC's Mark Murray
On the very day President Obama stumps for Creigh Deeds

in Virginia, a new poll shows the Democratic gubernatorial candidate trailing Republican Bob McDonnell by eight points, 51%-43%. (Hat tip: J-Mart.)

As we mentioned in First Thoughts this morning, the Northern Virginia vote will be key for Deeds, and the poll shows getting 65% of the vote there, which matches up favorably to what Tim Kaine and Obama were able to get. But McDonnell

is crushing Deeds among independents, 55%-40%. And Deeds also is underperforming among African Americans (22% of them say they're undecided).

Another thing from the poll: Obama's approval in Virginia is 51%-44%. While Research 2000 polls tend to have Obama's overall approval a bit higher than in other national polls, those Virginia numbers are almost identical to Obama's margin in the state from last November -- 53%-46%.