LAST WEEK, The New Republic touted through a tweet that Virginia was now a blue state, writing: “Virginia is looking more and more like a blue state.”

My reply tweet was simple: “Not so long ago this didn’t seem possible…” In fact, I found it unbelievable, because it’s just not been my experience listening to people, driving and exploring neighborhoods across northern Virginia. If Obama doesn’t win here, he can’t win the state.

Now the anecdotal evidence I was seeing has landed in the recent Quinnipiac University poll, which The Hill pulls out:

The survey, released Thursday by Quinnipiac University, shows each candidate garnering 44 percent of the vote. That’s a five-point swing in Romney’s favor since early June. […] The poll also found former Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) with a 46-44 percent lead over former Democratic Gov. Tim Kaine in the state’s deadlocked and hotly contested U.S. Senate race.

This is a snapshot of where we are right now, which rings true with what I’m hearing and seeing anecdotally. From Larry Sabato recently, who’s an expert on Virginia:

The airwaves are awash in campaign ads, and there’s a veritable who-has-more-campaign-offices arms race well under way. […]

Analysts view Virginia as crucial to a Romney win; and though they see a path to victory for Obama even if he loses Virginia, it would not bode well for the president to lose a state where the economy ranks among the nation’s most robust.

“If he loses Virginia, given its 5.6 percent unemployment rate, it suggests the president will have a tough time winning a second term,” Sabato says.

But if Romney doesn’t carry Virginia, he says, “it’s hard to see him getting to 270.”

I’ve mentioned this on Twitter many times, but I’m seeing negative ads from Rove and the Koch Bros. constantly, no matter what I watch. I’ve seen positive Obama ads, but only negative ads against Obama. They’re relentlessly non-stop. It’s impossible not to believe they’re part of this swing in Romney’s favor; it’s like what Obama is doing on Bain in other battleground states.