DEMOCRATIC Sen. Charles Robb took a clear lead over GOP challenger Oliver North in a statewide poll released over the weekend in which a majority of those surveyed felt the bitter campaign had disgraced Virginia.
The Robb-North clash is a crucial race in deciding which party will control the Senate.
A telephone poll of 869 registered Virginia voters from Oct. 31 to Nov. 3 showed Mr. Robb as the favorite with 39 percent and Mr. North with 31 percent. The poll, conducted by Media General Research, had a margin of error of 3.4 percent.
Sixty-two percent of those polled said the expensive and acrimonious battle reflected poorly on Virginia.
The poll is the third since Wednesday that shows Robb gaining ground against North. A Virgina Commonwealth University poll Wednesday showed Robb leading by a statistically insignificant margin, with a Mason-Dixon poll showing the same result.
But North predicted an election-day edge. ``I am predicting a 3-point victory on Tuesday. No question about that,'' North said Saturday. ``There is nothing Chuck Robb can do at this point to change the outcome. It's over.''
The two joined thousands of people at the Oyster Festival parade on the final weekend before the vote.