The airwaves are heating up in what could be among the nation's biggest 2012 battlegrounds.
A Democratic-aligned outside group announced today it is going on the air in the Senate race, targeting former Virginia Sen. George Allen. The ad comes one week after a GOP-aligned outside group took on Allen's opponent, former Gov. Tim Kaine.
Majority PAC, a super PAC supporting Democratic Senate candidates, spent "six-figures" for a one-week buy, according to a source. This is the third state, including Missouri and Montana, that the Democratic group and Patriot Majority USA have gone up in over the past two weeks.
"We still remember. As governor, George Allen increased state spending by 40 percent, a record level," the ad's announcer says. "And Sen. George Allen supported over $120 billion in earmarks and $3.2 trillion in new debt."
The ad plays a clip of Allen admitting that spending during his time in the Senate "was a problem," and defends Kaine's record. Allen also is a former governor; Kaine served as President Barack Obama's first Democratic National Committee chairman.
The ad against Kaine released last week by Crossroads GPS, which spent $275,000 on the buy, similarly attacked Kaine's past record and also tied him to Obama.
Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney are spending considerable time in Virginia this week. Obama spoke to students at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington today and is holding a campaign kickoff rally at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond on Saturday.
Romney held an event at a local business in a Northern Virginia suburb on Wednesday and appeared with Gov. Bob McDonnell and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) for a rally in Portsmouth on Thursday.
Roll Call rates the Senate race as a Tossup.
Watch the Majority PAC ad:
Watch the Crossroads GPS ad: