A good question, bro...
..and one I felt ill-informed to answer as of yesterday, which was how I felt about the latest Allen-Webb poll.
Having had the chance to read the article and reflect, I am surprised the most about Allen's inability to pass the 50-percent mark. He's not my cup of tea, but politically he has been untouchable in Virginia in the past decade, so this is a bit of a shock.
The real question is, with the large # of undecideds, can Jim Webb successfully present himself as a viable alternative. He's woefully behind in cash (though he's matched Allen in cash raised, Allen has a shitload in the bank) and name recognition. However, I had the opportunity to see both Webb and the man he defeated in the Democratic primary, Harris Miller, as they both spoke at a Charlottesville rally a few weeks back (one I failed to blog on for a # of reasons, biggest one being clearing up the storm damage to our house), and I can definitely say we picked the best guy to take on Allen.
Harris Miller, in his introduction, to put it bluntly, was a snot. Although he hit the talking points, and respect must be given for coming out to support the victor in a primary that could charitably be described as nasty, Miller made a couple of snide comments that did not go over well w/the audience. He started one statement with (paraphrase): Now I know some of you in Charlottesville are guilty of putting Allen there in the first place... He then also made a comment along the lines of had the Democrats in VA been as active as Repubs in 2000 were in Florida Creigh Deeds would have won his tight race for Attorney General instead of losing in a recount. Both of these comments quieted the audience; you could hear the uncomfortable fidgeting on his behalf. I certainly think Miller deserves recognition for going out to help Webb win, but maybe he should just write a check.
When Webb spoke, however, all I could think was "Man he's goooood." He hit on themes of family and security, and in response to George Felix Allen's habit of waving a football around at rallies (emphasizing his college football career), Webb held up a plastic model of a FREAKIN' MX MISSILE, responding that his dad used to build these to keep America safe. Now I don't know how this played in super crunchy C-Ville, but I got a tinglin' that required an application of cornstarch. This'll play in VA.
Webb definitely has a shot against Allen, even douchebag Larry Sabato says so (in the linked article on top), but he'll have to overcome a lot of inertia against a Republican incumbent, not to mention a first-class politician, to win this thing.