President Barack Obama holds an 8-point lead over Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney among likely Virginia voters, leading 52 percent to 44 percent according to a Washington Post poll released Tuesday.

From the Post:

In a place that rode out the recession with relative ease thanks to a huge defense sector, voters are split about evenly on Obama’s handling of the economy. That’s a more positive view than the president gets on the economy nationally.

But Romney runs evenly with Obama when it comes to whom voters trust to deal with the economy, which most Virginians, like all Americans, consider to be the most important issue.

Obama's lead was most pronounced in Richmond and eastern Virginia, where he led Romney 60 to 38 percent, as well as in Northern Virginia and DC's suburbs. Romney led in the northern Virginian exurbs, as well as in central and western Virginia.

Four of the five polls of Virginia released this month show Obama ahead by varying margins. But the Washington Post survey gives Obama his most favorable numbers in the state since early July, when a poll from the Democratic firm PPP also showed him up by 8 points.

Virginia, which went for Obama in 2008 after decades of favoring Republicans, is a key swing state. HuffPost Pollster's model estimate shows Obama regaining a narrow lead in Virginia following the party conventions:

The Washington Post poll surveyed 847 likely voters by phone between Sept. 12 and Sept. 16, with a 4 percent margin of error.

Also on HuffPost:

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