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Former Rep. Leslie Byrne (D) has pulled within striking distance of Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerry Connolly (D) in Virginia’s 11th district Democratic primary race, according to a new poll released late last night by Byrne’s campaign.

The Global Strategy Group survey of 400 likely voters showed Connolly leading 37 percent to 34 percent, but the difference was within the survey’s 4.9-point margin of error. The survey was conducted Sunday through Tuesday.

Connolly rated a slightly higher net favorable rating, according to the poll, and although both candidates had name recognition in the mid-90s, with just three weeks to go before the Virginia primary, 28 percent of voters remained undecided about who they will vote for.

Connolly’s campaign has released two polls during the primary campaign. The first poll, which was taken in January gave Connolly a 23-point lead, and the second poll, taken in late March, gave him a 20-point lead.

The 11th district has been held by retiring Republican Rep. Tom Davis since 1994. But the changing ethnic makeup of the suburban Washington, D.C., district combined with the fact that the Republican frontrunner — businessman Keith Fimian — has very little name identification has made the 11th a top pickup opportunity for Democrats this cycle.

— John McArdle

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