RICHMOND -- Two former Virginia governors are vying for a seat in the U.S. Senate.

With four of 2,585 precincts reporting, Republican George Allen was ahead 3,039 votes to Democrat Tim Kaine's 2,785.

Both men voted early Tuesday and then met with voters waiting in line to cast their ballots.

Allen, who had been in the U.S. Senate but lost the seat in 2006, shook hands at Tuckahoe Elementary School in Henrico County.

'The turnout is great. Ithink that Virginians recognize how momentous this election is, and people are voting as if America's future depends on their decisions here in Virginia, and, indeed, they're right,' Allen said

Referring to sequestration, which would allow drastic budget cuts to take place automatically, affecting areas including the military, Allen said, 'How Virginia votes in this Senate race will determine leadership in the Senate, whether we have a Senate that will stop these defense cuts, because I think it's important to stop these devastating defense cuts that are threatening over 200,000 jobs in Virginia and harming our military readiness.'

Kaine talked with voters outside Main Library on Franklin Street in Richmond.

Kaine campaign staffers say they're seeing 'very, very, very high' voter turnout that's on par with 2008.

Both men were confident of their chances of winning once the votes were counted.

The most recent polling showed Kaine with a slight edge, the Associated Press reported. His win could determine whether Democrats keep a thin Senate majority. Democrats currently hold 51 seats in the Senate plus two independents who caucus with the party. Republicans have 47 seats and a loss early on in Massachusetts would make their path to the majority even harder.

As of Oct. 17, Allen had raised and spent about $12.5 million to Kaine's $17.4 million. But outside spending totals nearly $53 million, with Allen benefiting from about 60 percent of it, according to the Associated Press..

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