To put it mildly, Roanoke College’s polls have not been among my favorites, as they haven’t been particularly accurate in the past (also, see 538 for the pollster rankings, which give Roanoke College a C+, which in fairness is a big improvement from years past, when they richly deserved an “F”). With that caveat, here are the top-line results from Roanoke College’s latest poll of Virginia:
Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has opened a 16-point lead over Republican Donald Trump among likely voters in Virginia (48%-32%), according to The Roanoke College Poll. Libertarian Gary Johnson received the support of 8 percent of likely voters, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein trailed the field with 3 percent, while 9 percent remain undecided. In a two-way matchup, Clinton’s lead extends to 19 points (55%-36%). The candidates were tied in the May Roanoke College Poll.
One reason to take this poll seriously is that it’s in line – actually, a a few points better for Clinton – with several other, recent polls (Washington Post +14; CBS +12; NBC/Marist +13), so this isn’t much of an outlier. Anyway, average all these polls together, and basically Clinton leads Trump in Virginia by something like 14-15 points, which helps explain why Clinton isn’t currently planning any TV ads in Virginia through Election Day.
With that, here are a few more findings from the Roanoke College poll.
- “Job approval for President Obama is at 52 percent with 37 percent disapproval (up from 45% approval in May).”
- “Governor Terry McAuliffe’s approval is down slightly from 51 percent in May to 46 percent in August, while disapproval is steady at 23 percent.”
- “…likely voters were split with 47 percent agreeing with the state Supreme Court’s ruling that McAuliffe’s mass restoration of voting rights to convicted felons who have completed their sentences and probation/parole was unconstitutional (44% disagreed).”
- Clinton leads Trump by an enormous 52%-25% among Virginia women and a narrow 43%-41% among Virginia men.
- Clinton leads Trump among African Americans 80%-4%, while trailing slightly among white voters (41%-38%).
- Trump is getting crushed (58%-25%) among voters with a bachelor’s degree or higher.
- Trump is also getting crushed (57%-24%) among voters aged 30-44, with Clinton’s lead narrower among other age groups (e.g., 48%-36% among voters aged 45-64).
- 91% of Democrats support Clinton, while just 78% of Republicans support Trump. Among independents, Clinton leads 43%-25%.
- Clinton leads 61%-19% (UPDATE: the more I think about this, 61%-19% seems implausibly large…) in northern Virginia (bad news for Barbara Comstock?), 57%-24% in Richmond/Central Virginia, and 43%-33% in Tidewater. Trump leads 58%-20% in southwestern Virginia, 63%-35% in the Shenandoah Valley, and 40%-33% in Southside Virginia.
- “Vice-presidential candidate and Virginia Senator Tim Kaine is viewed favorably by a majority (52%) of respondents. That is a significant increase from 32 percent in January, the last time we asked that question.”
- “Clinton’s favorable ratings, though not good, have improved from May (39% favorable; 45% unfavorable compared to 35% and 50% in May), while Trump’s numbers are very poor and marginally worse than in May (23% favorable; 63% unfavorable down from 23% and 56%).”