Poll: Northam with sizable lead on Gillespie in Virginia governor race

Democrat Ralph Northam has an eight-point lead on Republican Ed Gillespie in an early summer rendering of the Virginia governor race.

democrats republicansQuinnipiac University has Northam, the sitting lieutenant governor, at 47 percent among Virginia voters, to 39 percent for Gillespie, the former Republican National Committee chairman.

Gillespie ran for the U.S. Senate in Virginia in 2014, and lost by a narrow margin to popular Democrat Mark Warner, despite trailing by double digits in most of the pre-election polling.

The Quinnipiac poll, released on Wednesday, has Gillespie ahead among Republican voters by a 91-4 margin, and Northam leading among Democrats by a 94-1 tally.

Northam has a narrow 40-38 edge with independent voters.

Voters also say they want to see a Democrat-majority General Assembly by a 48-41 margin.

Note to those who took part in the survey: ain’t gonna happen, the way the legislative districts have been gerrymandered.

All 100 House of Delegates seats are up for re-election in 2017, but the 40 State Senate seats don’t come up for contest until 2019.

Still, the sentiment is there, if nothing else.

“Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam begins the general election as the favorite to become the Old Dominion’s next governor. But not an overwhelming one,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

Brown said Northam is benefiting from the unpopularity of President Trump, but who isn’t, right?

Northam is also getting a bump from the popularity of Gov. Terry McAuliffe, and Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine.

McAuliffe gets a 47-37 percent job approval rating, with Kaine at a 52-38 positive split, and Warner at 55-31.


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