Home Ralph Northam Roanoke College Poll: Northam 43%-Gillespie 36%; Virginia Voters Really Dislike Donald Trump

Roanoke College Poll: Northam 43%-Gillespie 36%; Virginia Voters Really Dislike Donald Trump


I’m not a big fan of Virginia polls in general, and definitely haven’t been impressed over the years with Roanoke College’s polls, but for the record, here are highlights from their latest on the 2017 gubernatorial race.

  • Including “leaners,” Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ralph Northam leads Republican Ed Gillespie 43%-36%, while Libertarian Cliff Hyra at just 4% (e.g., a non-factor – at least so far).
  • “President” Trump is very unpopular in Virginia, with a pitiful 31% approval rating and with just 28% (!) approving of the job he’s doing (note: Gallup has Trump at 35%-60% today nationally) .
  • Kinda “meh” favorable/unfavorable rating for Gov. McAuliffe, at 41%-30%, with a somewhat better (49%-30%) approve/disapprove score.
  • Almost nobody (just 7%) approves of the job Paul Ryan’s/Mitch McConnell’s Congress is doing. Heckuva job, red team! LOL
  • By an 88%-8% margin, Virginia voters believe that the nation is “divided,” not “united.”
  • What’s fascinating to me is how many Virginia voters STILL don’t have enough information to form an opinion of Ed Gillespie or Ralph Northam, with 53% “don’t know/refused” for Northam and 39% “don’t know/refused” for Gillespie. Amazing.
  • By a slight, 46%-41% margin, Virginia voters believe the Commonwealth is “going in the right direction.” That’s actually decent news for Gillespie, who talks down Virginia at every opportunity he’s given.
  • This result somewhat surprised me, given Trump’s extremely low ratings in Virginia: 57% believe “the next governor of Virginia should work with President Trump regularly to get as much as he can for Virginia,” while 28% believe the new governor should “work with Trump only when a core interest is at stake for Virginia,” and just 10% that the new governor should “oppose Trump at every opportunity.”
  • Also a bit surprising, just 5% say this election is a “Trump referendum,” while 43% say it’s about the “future of Virginia” and 45% say “both.”

All in all, the top-line “horse race” numbers seem about in the ballpark of other recent polls, which have had Northam up in the 5-6 point range, other than a 44%-44% poll by Monmouth, which is increasingly looking like it might be an outlier. Regardless (standard disclaimer), Virginia Democrats should not take this race for granted and should fight like it’s tied…you know the drill. 🙂


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