New poll numbers show Republican Bob McDonnell's lead over Democrat Creigh Deeds is widening slightly.
The Washington Post poll gives McDonnell a 53 to 44 percent lead over Deeds. The Post's last poll in early September had McDonnell up on Deeds by four points.
The poll suggests negative ads being run by the Deeds campaign may be backfiring.
University of Virginia Political Analyst Larry Sabato agrees. "In the end, you have to get people to judge that you are the better candidate. And they do that by liking your positive vision more and liking the other candidate less".
Deeds will have a chance to cut into McDonnell's lead with the first statewide TV debate October 12.
You can watch that debate here on NBC29 HD News, beginning at 8 p.m.