Poll: Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump lead party nomination battles in Virginia

2016Hillary Clinton maintains a solid lead among Virginia Democrats, and Donald Trump has a small lead among Virginia Republicans, according to new polling data from the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University.

Clinton was at 40 percent in the new CNU poll, with Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden each at 23 percent. Former Virginia U.S. Sen. Jim Webb is a distant fourth at 5 percent.

The most recent polling of Virginia voters relative to the presidential race had Clinton at 80 percent.

“Virginia Democrats are hesitating on Clinton,” said Dr. Quentin Kidd, director of the Wason Center for Public Policy. “While she continues to lead, the fact that Sanders’ campaign and Biden’s potential candidacy have cut her lead in half shows that they are looking seriously at alternatives.”

Virginia Republicans are very much looking at alternatives in the crowded field of GOP contenders. Trump is at 23 percent, the tops among four candidates in double digits in the Old Dominion, with Ben Carson at 17 percent, Marco Rubio at 14 percent and Carly Fiorina at 13 percent.

“There is a clear pack of leaders in the crowded Republican field,” said Tom Kramer, assistant director of the Wason Center for Public Policy. “But the order of that pack is likely to change as candidates drop from the race, and Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina seem to be positioned to move up.”

Looking at potential 2016 general-election matchups, Biden polls the best among Democrats, besting Trump by 17 points in a head-to-head, though Carson polls within four points of the vice president.

Clinton would beat Trump by seven points, but Carson would defeat Clinton by six points.

Sanders would beat Trump by 12 points and lose to Carson by 10 points.

“With so many candidates in the field, things are a little fluid in Virginia,” Kidd said. “It is clear, though, that Clinton’s once dominant position is no longer. Virginia Democrats are intrigued by Joe Biden, but younger voters are also intrigued by Bernie Sanders. Republicans also have a set of candidates who seem to be able to peel voters from the traditional Democratic coalition of young voters, African Americans, and women.”

– Story by Chris Graham


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