Home 2017 Races Roanoke College Poll: Very Few Know Who 2017 Virginia Candidates Are; Northam...

Roanoke College Poll: Very Few Know Who 2017 Virginia Candidates Are; Northam vs. Perriello Tied; Dems Hold Lead for Gov

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Pretty much a meaningless 2017 Virginia horse race poll by Roanoke College, for two major reasons.

1. It’s a Roanoke College poll, and that outfit doesn’t have the greatest track record.
2. Almost nobody knows who the candidates are, which is kinda pathetic but reality nonetheless. Check this out (bolding added by me for emphasis):

Perhaps, most telling in this area are the favorable/unfavorable ratings for the perceived frontrunners for each party. Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam has a favorable rating of 8 percent with 5 percent unfavorable. A whopping 84 percent of respondents do not know enough about him to have an opinion. Republican frontrunner Ed Gillespie, who was narrowly defeated by Sen. Mark Warner just over two years ago, fares similarly with 14 percent favorable, 10 percent unfavorable, and 70 percent who do not have an opinion.

With that backdrop, the following matchup results from somewhat likely, registered voters should be taken with a large helping of salt. In the Republican primary, Ed Gillespie (24%) leads Frank Wagner (8%), Corey Stewart (4%), and Denver Riggleman (1%), with 62 percent undecided (N=229; margin of error ± 6.5%). On the Democratic side, Ralph Northam and Tom Perriello are tied at 12 percent each, with 74 percent undecided (N=206; margin of error ± 6.5%).

The numbers become a little more solid when we introduce the political party cue. In hypothetical November matchups (all have N=484; margin of error ± 4.5%), Northam holds leads over Gillespie (32%-29%, within the margin of error), Stewart (35%-24%), and Wagner (35%-25%), and Perriello holds very similar leads over Gillespie (33%-30%), Stewart (32%-26%), and Wagner (32%-27%).

More interesting are the other results from this poll:

  • “A large majority (81%) agree that non-violent felons who have completed their sentences and probation and paid any fines should automatically have their voting rights restored, but a majority (54%) opposes restoration of gun rights for those persons.”
  • A strong majority of Virginians still supports requiring background checks at gun shows (80%).
  • “Nearly two-thirds (63%) of residents favor raising the minimum wage in Virginia to $10 an hour now and $15 an hour by 2021.”
  • “The public is largely split on the issue of transgender bathroom access, which has been killed in this session, with 43 percent supporting requiring transgender individuals to use the bathroom that corresponds with their birth gender and 39 percent preferring to allow transgender individuals to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.”
  • “Favorable ratings are slightly improved, but remain low for President Donald Trump as they were throughout the campaign (30% favorable; 48% unfavorable), while those for Governor McAuliffe are up slightly from a year ago (46% favorable; 21% unfavorable). Senator Mark Warner (50% favorable; 17% unfavorable) tops the list, followed by Senator Tim Kaine (48% favorable; 29% unfavorable).”