PPP breaks down Virginia electorate on 2014 Senate race, 2016 presidential race, more

-An epic US Senate contest in 2014 between Mark Warner and Bob McDonnell…might not be that epic. Warner leads McDonnell 51-40 in a hypothetical head to head. Warner would take 14% of the Republican vote while McDonnell gets just 7% of Democrats, and Warner has a narrow edge with independents as well. McDonnell is popular but there’s still no doubt who Virginia’s favorite politician is.

-Virginians would prefer that neither Warner nor McDonnell go for the White House in 2016. They’re pretty closely divided on a possible Warner bid with 34% saying he should run and 39% that he should not. There’s less division in regards to McDonnell. Only 24% think he should run for President while 52% are opposed to the possibility.

-There’s a pretty strong consensus among Virginia voters across party lines that the state’s rule holding Governors to one term should be dropped. 60% support letting Governors run for reelection to just 31% opposed to the prospect. That doesn’t necessarily mean McDonnell would be able to win a second term though. Just 36% say they would vote to reelect him, while 51% would prefer someone new.

-Jim Webb continues to post solid but not spectacular approval numbers as he heads out of office. 42% of voters approve of the job he’s doing to 31% who disapprove with a higher than normal 27% having no opinion one way or the other. I think a Webb/Allen contest would have been similarly competitive to the Kaine/Allen one most likely.

-Virginia mirrors most of the country when it comes to legal rights for same sex couples- it’s opposed to gay marriage but supports civil unions. 50% of voters think gay marriage should be illegal to only 41% who believe it should be legal. But when you add civil unions into the mix 65% of voters support some form of legal recognition for gay couples to only 32% who think there should be none. We see the same massive generational divide on this stuff here that we do everywhere- voters under 30 support gay marriage 58/42, while those over 65 oppose it by a 58/27 margin.

-Democrats lead Virginia’s generic Congressional ballot 47-38. We found earlier in the week that Eric Cantor’s favorability in the state was 27/41 and it seems possible these two findings are related.

-Virginians might have the most divided baseball loyalties of any state in the country. There’s basically a five way tie for the state’s favorite MLB team with the Yankees at 14% and Braves, Nationals, Orioles, and Red Sox all at 13%. The Cubs and Mets at 4% and Phillies at 3%  round out the ones we tested.

-Virginia Tech fans outnumber Virginia fans 29-24 in our poll, although 47% who don’t care speaks to a state that isn’t exactly college sports crazy. Among the subset of Virginia Tech fans 25% support the firing of Seth Greenberg with 15% opposed. 60% of Hokie fans with no opinion speaks to the level of interest in basketball at the school.

More online: www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2012/05/virginia-miscellany.html.


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