United States Senate elections in Virginia, 2012

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2012 U.S. Senate Elections in Virginia

CandidatesPollsElection History

November 6 Election Winner:
Tim Kaine Democratic Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Jim Webb Democratic Party
Jim Webb.jpg

Cook Political Report Race Rating
     Tossup (Prior to election)

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2012 U.S. House Elections

Flag of Virginia.png
Voters in Virginia will elect one member to the U.S. Senate in the November 6, 2012 elections.
Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
March 29, 2012
June 12, 2012
November 6, 2012

Primary: Virginia has an open primary system, in which any registered voter may choose which party's primary to vote in.

Voter registration: Voters had to register to vote in the primary by May 21. For the general election, the voter registration deadline is October 15.[1]

See also: Virginia elections, 2012

Incumbent: The election will fill the Class 1 Senate seat, which is currently held by Jim Webb (D). First elected in 2006, Webb is not running for re-election in 2012.


Note: Election results were added on election night as races were called. Vote totals were added after official election results had been certified. For more information about Ballotpedia's election coverage plan, click here. If you find any errors in this list, please email: Geoff Pallay.

General election candidates

Democratic Party Tim Kaine
Republican Party George Allen

May 8, 2012 primary results

Democratic Party Democratic Primary


Republican Party Republican primary


Race background

Democratic incumbent Jim Webb, first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006, decided to retire rather than seek re-election in 2012. Nine candidates filed for the open seat but only five appeared on the June 12th primary ballot. Former Senator George Allen, who was unseated by Webb in the 2006 election, emerged as the Republican nominee in his party's primary. He will face Democratic National Convention chair Tim Kaine in the general election contest on November 6, 2012.


According to The New York Times 2012 Senate elections analysis, the Virginia Senate race is rated as a toss-up; the seat is currently held by a Democrat, but could switch to Republican.[6]

Race rating

Cook Political Report

Each month the Cook Political Report releases race ratings for President, U.S. Senate, U.S. House (competitive only) and Governors. There are seven possible designations: [7]

     Solid Democratic
     Likely Democratic
     Lean Democratic


     Lean Republican
     Likely Republican
     Solid Republican

Cook Political Report Race Rating -- Virginia Senate
Month Rating
October 4, 2012[8]     
September 13, 2012[9]     
August 21, 2012[10]     
July 12, 2012[11]     
May 31, 2012[12]     
May 10, 2012[13]     
March 22, 2012[14]     
March 1, 2012[15]     
January 26, 2012[16]     
December 22, 2011[17]     
December 1, 2011[18]     

Sabato's Crystal Ball


The University of Virginia's Center for Politics published an article called Sabato's Crystal Ball on March 22, 2012 detailing the 8 races in the Senate in 2012 that will decide the political fate of which party will end up with control in 2013.[19] The seat rated a toss-up that Sabato's Crystal Ball believes is most likely to depend on the outcome of the Presidential election in November is the Senate seat in Virginia.[19] According to the article, "outcome of this race will largely be determined by which party claims Virginia’s 13 electoral votes in November."[19]


George Allen vs. Tim Kaine
Poll George Allen Tim KaineSome Other CandidateUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Rasmussen Reports (August 23,2012)
Rasmussen Reports (September 17,2012)
AVERAGES 45% 46% 2% 7% +/-4.5 500
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

Campaign donors

Democrat Tim Kaine has outraised Republican opponent George Allen by roughly $1 million in the third quarter, taking in approximately $4.5 million to Allen's $3.5 million. Kaine's campaign noted that he has raised nearly $15 million total from over 40,000 donors.[20]

Election history


On November 4, 2008, Mark Warner (D) won election to the U.S. Senate, defeating James S. "Jim" Gilmore III (R), William B. Redpath (L), Glenda Gail Parker (Independent Green), and a write-in.[21]

U.S. Senate, Virginia, 2008
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMark R. Warner 65% 2,369,327
     Republican James S. "Jim" Gilmore III 33.7% 1,228,830
     Libertarian William B. Redpath 0.6% 20,269
     Independent Glenda Gail Parker 0.6% 21,690
     Write-in Unnamed 0.1% 3,178
Total Votes 3,643,294


On November 7, 2006, Jim Webb (D) won election to the U.S. Senate, defeating incumbent George Allen (R), Glenda Gail Parker (Independent Green), and a write-in.[22]

U.S. Senate, Virginia, 2006
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJames H. "Jim" Webb 49.6% 1,175,606
     Republican George Allen Incumbent 49.2% 1,166,277
     Independent Glenda Gail Parker 1.1% 26,102
     Write-in Unnamed 0.1% 2,460
Total Votes 2,370,445

See also


  1. Virginia State Board of Elections "2012 November Election Calendar," Accessed July 7, 2012
  2. The Hill "Kaine announcement launches premier Senate race of 2012," Accessed January 6, 2012
  3. Politico "An idealistic, long shot alternative to Kaine," Accessed January 6, 2012
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Washington Examiner "Va. Senate race all about Kaine and Allen," Accessed January 6, 2012
  5. Virginia Election Board "Election Results" Accessed June 12, 2012
  6. The New York Times, "2012 Senate race ratings," accessed September 17, 2012
  7. Cook Political Report "Our Accuracy," Accessed December 12, 2011
  8. Cook Political Report "2012 SENATE RACE RATINGS," October 4, 2012
  9. Cook Political Report "2012 SENATE RACE RATINGS," September 13, 2012
  10. Cook Political Report "2012 SENATE RACE RATINGS," August 21, 2012
  11. Cook Political Report "2012 SENATE RACE RATINGS," July 12, 2012
  12. Cook Political Report "2012 SENATE RACE RATINGS," May 31, 2012
  13. Cook Political Report "2012 SENATE RACE RATINGS," May 10, 2012
  14. Cook Political Report "2012 SENATE RACE RATINGS," March 22, 2012
  15. Cook Political Report "2012 SENATE RACE RATINGS," March 1, 2012
  16. Cook Political Report "2012 SENATE RACE RATINGS," January 26, 2012
  17. Cook Political Report "2012 SENATE RACE RATINGS," December 27, 2011
  18. Cook Political Report "2012 SENATE RACE RATINGS," December 1, 2011
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Center for Politics "Tilting the Toss Ups – the Eight Races That Will Decide the Senate" Accessed April 9, 2012
  20. The Washington Post, "Tim Kaine maintains fundraising edge over George Allen," October 4, 2012
  21. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008"
  22. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2006"