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%


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.”
  • Slavin Rose

    Why isn’t Northam polling higher? Because many, like me, feel that Perriello received the same shoddy treatment by the Dem establishment as did Bernie. Oh, I’ll vote for Ralph for the simple reason that the worst Democrat is far better than the best Republican. Will others? I hope so.

    • Guest

      Can you give examples of Perriello getting shoddy treatment during the primary?

      • dave schutz

        The ‘Dem establishment’ writ large, I think, formed a consensus that Northam was more likely to get elected than was Perriello. As it formed a similar consensus for Clinton over Sanders. In the Presidential run, there seem to have been dirty tricks by Debbie W-S as well as huge numbers of endorsements. In the Northam-Perriello race, I saw mostly overwhelming endorsement favoritism, not dirty tricks. Here’s a current example of the VA Dem establishment trying to move a nomination to a favored candidate: https://m.dailykos.com/stories/2017/9/14/1698620/-Bogus-Virginia-Democrats-consider-eliminating-primary-in-favor-of-a-convention-for-key-House-race. Here in Arlington, the Dem establishment decided to select the most recent nominee for County Board by caucus instead of a precinct primary, and got themselves an electorate smaller by two thirds than voted in the just-following primary between Northam and Perriello, and the nomination went to the candidate who was clearly the Dem establishment choice candidate.
        You can’t hope that the very group of people who have been working for the Party for years and want its success are not going to form a consensus choice for a nomination and work for that person. Nor ought they be kept from seeking to influence. Endorsements are fine, contributions are fine. But their efforts should be open and transparent.

        • Guest

          So endorsements are shoddy treatment? Ralph had more endorsements then Tom because he had been running for the office for a year before the primary. A good campaign strives to lock up endorsements early, that is what successful campaigns do. So you are arguing that Ralph should have run a crappy campaign so that another candidate could come along to compete with him at some time? The rest of the examples you made seem to have no connection to the Democratic Primary for Governor.