Home 2017 Races New Virginia Poll: Northam 44%-Gillespie 39%; Fairfax 45%-Vogel 40%; Herring 47%-Adams 40%

New Virginia Poll: Northam 44%-Gillespie 39%; Fairfax 45%-Vogel 40%; Herring 47%-Adams 40%

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There hasn’t been a new public poll of the Virginia governor’s race since August 22 (a Roanoke College poll which had Ralph Northam up 7 points, 43%-36%, over Ed Gillespie), so I was thinking we’d start seeing some this week. And voila, here one is – by the University of Mary Washington, which has the race tight, at Northam 44%-Gillespie 39% — wayyyyy too close for comfort, in my book (also, should be a bigger lead with a highly unpopular Republican, Trump no less, in the White House). With that, here are a few highlights from the poll.

  • “The 5-point difference between the two major party candidates is within the margin of error for likely voters.”
  • “Northam and Gillespie each have the support of 91 percent of those who identify with their party. Among likely voters who call themselves independent, 39 percent backed Gillespie as compared to 30 percent for Northam.”
  • “Gillespie had the support of 90 percent of the likely voters in the survey who said they voted for Donald Trump last year; Northam is winning 86 percent of last year’s Hillary Clinton voters who are likely to vote in this contest in November. “
  • 44% of Virginians believe that “things in the Commonwealth of Virginia are headed more in the right direction,” while 40% say “wrong direction.”
  • Only 32% of Virginians say they have given “quite a lot” of thought to the governor’s election.
  • Northam has a 5-point lead not just among likely voters, but also among registered voters (40%-35%) and all adults (38%-33%). That seems a bit odd to me, as Democrats usually do better with a broader population than with “likely voters.”
  • Only 32% of likely voters say that Donald Trump will be a “major factor” in their decision for governor, with 18% saying it will be a “minor factor” and 47% saying it won’t be a factor at all.
  • For Lt. Governor, Democrat Justin Fairfax leads Republican Jill Vogel by 5 points (45%-40%) among “likely voters” and by 8 points (45%-37%) among registered voters.
  • For Attorney General, Democrat Mark Herring leads Republican John Adams by 7 points (47%-40%) among “likely voters,” and by 9 points (47%-38%) among registered voters.
  • So, bottom line: among registered votes, Mark Herring is +9 points, Justin Fairfax is +8 points, Ralph Northam is +5 points. Why is Northam under-performing in this poll among registered voters? Please leave your theories in the comments section.
  • By a 6-point margin (49%-43%), “likely voters” would prefer that Democrats control the Virginia House of Delegates. Among registered voters, it’s a 9-point advantage (49%-40%) for Democrats.
  • 50% of Virginians say that our state’s economy has stayed about the same over the past 12 months, while 25% say it’s gotten better and 21% that it’s gotten worse.
  • 43% of Virginians say they get most of their news from the internet (scary, eh?), while 38% say they get it from TV (even scarier?), with just 9% saying newspapers and 8% radio. Even scarier, of those who say they get most of their news from TV, 22% get it from Fox (right-wing propaganda network), 20% from CNN (mostly trash), 19% from local stations (mostly “if it bleeds it leads” and sensationalistic crap; getting worse as right-wing Sinclair buys up stations)
  • Among “likely voters,” 35% say they are “conservative” (24%) or “very conservative” (11%); 32% say they are “liberal” (21%) or “very liberal” (11%), and 28% say they are “moderate.” Only 11% consider themselves “libertarian.”