Last week George Allen opened the door to a possible rematch against Jim Webb in 2012. Two polls we've conducted in the last year indicate such a contest would be about as much of a toss up as you can have.
When we looked at it in July of 2008, Webb led Allen 45-43. This August, in numbers we're now releasing publicly for the first time, Allen led Webb 44-43.
Both politicians are pretty popular, especially measured against the present overall unpopularity of their brethren across the country right now. Webb's approval in the most recent poll came down at 50/37, and at 43/38 more voters have a favorable than unfavorable opinion of Allen as well.
The 'Macaca' incident certainly played a part in Allen's 2006 loss, but its being a terrible year for Republicans nationally may have played a bigger role. He would have survived in most other election cycles, and his present numbers are an indication that he's far from unelectable in the future.
A 2012 rematch would most likely be the most closely watched race in the country other than Barack Obama's quest for reelection, and it seems a pretty good bet the ultimate winner would be whoever's party won the Presidential race in the state. It would certainly be fun to watch.