Before presenting a few highlights from the new poll by Gravis Marketing, it’s important to point out a few things about this pollster. First, according to 538’s pollster rankings, Gravis is mediocre at best at its job, with an overall grade of “C” (for comparison purposes, Quinnipiac gets a B+, PPP gets a B- and the Washington Post/ABC News poll gets an A-). Second, Gravis is biased towards Republicans; 1.4 points in their direction, according to 538. Third, the poll was conducted entirely on one day (May 24), which to me seems a bit odd.
Anyway, with those caveats, here are a few key results.
- According to Gravis, President Obama’s Virginia approval ratings are at just 46% approve/47% disapprove (-1 point).That’s significantly lower than what Gallup’s national numbers have been telling us for a long time. Note that Gallup’s May 24 numbers had Obama +5 nationally, at 50%-45%, and there’s really no reason to think that Virginia would be much different than that, given the fact that Virginia almost exactly mirrored the final 2012 presidential election results. That alone is a tip-off to Gravis’ pro-Republican bias. In this case, Gravis appears to lean 6 points in the Republican direction based on the Obama numbers.
- In spite of Gravis’ pronounced, pro-GOP bias, Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump by 4 points (45%-41%) in a two-way race, and by 6 points (44%-38%) in a three-way race with Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson in the mix (which he should be, since he’ll be on the ballot). Also consider that there are still some Sanders supporters who are not yet ready to say they’ll support Clinton, and I’ll take a 6-point lead for Clinton at this point, particularly given that Barack Obama only won Virginia in 2012 by 3 percentage points (50.8%-47.8%).
- It’s super early to be polling the 2017 Virginia governor’s race, but if you care – and again, keep in mind the Republican bias of Gravis – Ed Gillespie leads Ralph Northam by 2 points, 40%-38%. That’s basically a tie, which is actually not bad coming from Gravis.
- Gov. McAuliffe’s approval ratings are mediocre at 42% approve-40% disapprove, making me wonder how much the federal investigation story, which broke the day before this poll was taken, might have depressed his numbers.
- Not sure why they asked this question, but it’s interesting that only 13% of Virginians appear to think that the quack “Gay Conversion Therapy” should be legal, while 64% say it should be illegal.
The good news here is that, if Clinton is really leading Trump by 6 points (or more) in a key “purple state” like Virginia (one that almost exactly mirrors America as a whole, politically speaking), then it’s almost impossible to see how Trump could get to 270 electoral votes. Such a shame, eh?