Recent polls show US Senator George Allen man handling his opponent Jim Webb, 48 to 37 percent.  I normally wouldn’t call 11 points a man handling, especially given, the not quite so stratospheric numbers from some other polls.  But given the onslaught of bad press Allen has received from swirling Indian monkeys to drive by racial slurs, can we call an Allen lead anything else? 

Allen broke new ground last week when he aired a state of the union style commercial, viewable on his website, which was aired simultaneously statewide.  The unusual campaign tactic, restored an air of statesmanship to Allen’s campaign that had recently taken serious hits.

While Republicans have seen their generic congressional numbers decline, Allen’s poll numbers never sunk below his opponents and now appear to be strengthening.  The politics of destruction, which appear to have emboldened the national democrats, are not playing well in Virginia. Noted columnist Cal Thomas, describes the political attacks well:

This is politics at its dirtiest and meanest. People wondering why more good men and women don’t run for office have their answer in this piling on of George Allen. If this were a football game, the Democratic team would be penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct and Allen would have an automatic first down. But this is politics and it’s easier to wipe off the mud from a hard tackle than it is to clean yourself up after being struck by political mudballs.

While it appears that the hemorrhaging has stopped, it is a long four weeks until Election Day.  The next big test for this race comes Monday evening, when Allen and Webb debate in the studios of WCVE-TV. This may be Allen’s last opportunity before a statewide audience to show Virginia the difference between himself and Webb.  If the campaign continues to spiral around Allen’s gaffs, his election night could be a nail-bitter.  If he can use this debate to get the race refocused on state and national issues, however, Allen may regain his spot in the likely Republican column.