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New Wason Center Poll: With 29 Days to Go Until Virginia Elections, Dem Lead Republicans by 13 Points (49%-36%) on “Generic Ballot”

Likely voters "prefer that Democrats control the General Assembly after the election, 53% to 37%"


A new Virginia poll is out this morning from the Wason Center for Public Policy at CNU. Here are the results.

  • Democrats have a significant advantage over Republicans on voter enthusiasm, 62% to 49%. Further, 84% of Democrats say they will “definitely vote,” compared with 74% of Republicans and 75% of Independents.” That, of course, is the key to this traditionally low-turnout, non-federal, non-gubernatorial, off-odd-year election…motivating the respective bases to turn out and vote. And right now, it looks good for the “blue team.”
  • Democrats lead Republicans by 13 points on the generic ballot test among likely voters, 49% to 36%.” That’s great if true, and much higher than what the 7-point edge the Washington Post poll showed last week.
  • “Voters prefer that Democrats control the General Assembly after the election, 53% to 37%, powered by a 17-point advantage among Independents.” Also great if true! Looking at the “cross-tabs,” it looks like both Republican and Democratic bases are heavily consolidated in support for their respective parties’ candidates, which again means it comes down to turnout.
  • By region, NOVA goes 55%-30% Democratic, which should make folks like Del. Tim Hugo (R) break out in a cold sweat; the Richmond area goes 50%-33% Democratic, which should freak out folks like Sen. Glen Sturtevant (R); Hampton Roads goes 48%-35% Democratic, which should freak out a bunch of Republicans, particularly given the “racial unpacking” of several of their districts; and “deep-red” South/Southwestern Virginia only goes by 8 points (49%-41%) to the Republicans, which is kind of surprising…and very good news for Democrats, actually.
  • By racial and ethnic group: blacks support Dems by a huge (76%-5%) margin; Latinos also support Dems by a huge (80%-20%) margin; and whites support Republicans by a 47%-41% margin.
  • By gender, women support Democrats overwhelmingly (53%-35%), with men supporting Democrats by a narrower (44%-38%) margin. Big-time “gender gap” there.
  • “Governor Ralph Northam’s approval is at 51% and voters are fairly optimistic about the state of the Commonwealth. But voters are pessimistic about the state of the country, with 62% of voters reporting the country is on the ‘wrong track.'” Voters are absolutely right about the state of the country, which is now WILDLY on the wrong track with the disaster in the White House, and with very few Republicans willing to defend and protect the constitution, the rule of law and our democracy in general. Also note that Northam’s approval has improved from 40%-49% (-9 points) in April 2019 to 51%-37% (+14 points) now. However, Northam’s approval hasn’t recovered to where it was in December 2018, pre-“blackface scandal,” when Northam was at 59%-24% (+35 points).
  • “President Trump’s approval is at 37%. In our 2020 ballot test, he trails a generic Democrat, 51% to 36%. (This data largely predates the Ukraine disclosures.)” As it stands now, Trump is going to get annihilated in Virginia next November. If I were a Republican in a “purple” district, like Rep. Denver Riggleman in VA-05 or maybe even Rep. Rob Wittman in VA-01, I’d look at these numbers and think, hmmm…maybe I should not only do the RIGHT thing vis-a-vis Trump but also the politically smart thing?
  • “Questions on gun control, health care, minimum wage, abortion and other topics show voters focused on both national and state issues, and significantly more likely to vote for candidates who support Democratic Party positions.” Yep, Democrats almost always come out ahead on the issues that matter to voters. So why don’t Democrats win every election then? Several factors, from gerrymandering to low Democratic voter turnout in off-year elections to voter suppression by Republicans.
  • On specific issues, it definitely jumped out that Virginia voters do *not* favor – by a 50%-36% margin – “changing the U.S. healthcare system to a single payer system modeled after Medicare.” Something for Democratic 2020 candidates to keep in mind? In contrast, Virginia voters *DO* support (by a 66%-28% margin) raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour over several years. And Virginia voters *DO* support (by a 76%-12% margin) ratifying the ERA. And they *DO* support (by a 67%-25% margin) keeping abortion legal.  And they *DO* support (by a 67%-29% margin) banning assault weapons. And they *DO* support (by an 83%-12% margin) ” legislation requiring all gun sales in the state be subject to background checks.”
  • Bottom line: It looks like “this year’s electorate will have more in common with the electorates of 2017 and 2018 in terms of its demographic and — more importantly — partisan composition, than with the electorate of 2015,” which in turn means that “Democrats are well positioned to pick up the seats they need to take control of both chambers of the General Assembly.” Great news; now, let’s make sure we turn out in droves and vote Democratic, up and down the ballot, on 11/5!

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