Learn about one of the races that may decide which party controls the Senate
Incumbent: George Allen (R)
Where he stands on:
War in Iraq: Allen has been a consistent supporter of the war in Iraq, but has more recently become critical of the war. He was quoted in the Richmond Times-Dispatch saying, â€œMistakes have been made and our progress has been far too slow.â€
Abortion: Allen opposes abortion, but has been criticized for owning stock in the company that makes the morning-after pill, according to a Washington Post article.
Education: Allen has urged the United States to provide incentives to more students for studying science and technology, according to his Web site. He said the No Child Left Behind program should be reformed so it does not require students to meet a â€œone-size-fits-allâ€ standard.
Immigration: Allenâ€™s Web site says U.S. borders should be secured with more agents, more detention centers and increased surveillance. His Web site says, â€œWe must not reward illegal behavior because it will only encourage more illegal behavior.â€
Health care: He advocates health-savings accounts, where people can put money into individual accounts that they can take with them as they move from job to job.
Stem cell research: He supports stem cell research, but said, â€œThe federal government should not fund the destruction of human embryos,â€ in a September Senate debate.
Challenger: James Webb (D)
Where he stands on:
War in Iraq: Webb is opposed to the war in Iraq. In a September television ad attacking George Allen, he said the United States must â€œend our occupation of Iraq and bring stability to the Middle East.â€
Abortion: Webb supports abortion rights but opposes late-term abortions, according to the Washington Post.
Education: Webbâ€™s campaign Web site advocates the testing and accountability of No Child Left Behind and says it is vital that Congress fully fund the mandates of No Child Left Behind.
Immigration: Webb said he “supports legalization for some immigrants and opposes broad programs for temporary foreign labor,â€ according to the Washington Post.
Health care: Webb supports a health care system like that of Massachusetts, â€œa system of mandatory health insurance that goes to preventive care, with a sliding scale of government participation based on the poverty rate,â€ he said in a recent debate.
Stem cell research: Webb said he would have voted to federally fund stem cell research.
What the polls say:
Webb leads Allen by 2.2 percent across the major U.S. polls, according to RealClear politics, a political analysis Web site. Allen had a lead over Webb for months, but it has consistently dropped.
Major media moments:
A major controversy erupted in September when Allen called a member of Webbâ€™s campaign team a â€œmacaca.â€ The man was of Indian descent and the word â€œmacacaâ€ is considered a racial slur in some countries. The incident set the tone for the character debate that has come to define the campaign between Allen and Webb.
Webbâ€™s opponents later revealed that while he was a student at the Naval Academy in the 1970s, he wrote an article titled, â€œWomen Canâ€™t Fight,â€ in which he said women should not fight in the Vietnam War. This spurred outrage among some Virginians.