Quinnipiac poll: Northam leads Gillespie by 14

ralph northamed gillespieWith strong support from women and non-white voters and a double-digit lead among independent voters, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam holds a 53-39 percent likely voter lead over Republican Ed Gillespie in the Virginia governor’s race, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Libertarian Party candidate Cliff Hyra has 2 percent.

Today’s result compares to a 51-41 percent likely voter lead for Northam in a Sept. 19 survey by the independent Quinnipiac University.

From Oct. 12-17, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,088 Virginia likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.7 percentage points, including the design effect. Live interviewers call landlines and cell phones.

The key takeaway from a look inside the numbers: independent voters back the Democrat 53-39 percent, with 3 percent for Hyra.

“One number says it all. Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam’s 14-point lead among independent voters is all you need to know about the race to be Virginia’s next governor,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. “The two major-party candidates do about the same among their respective party bases, but a candidate who carries independent voters by double-digits is almost always a winner.

Women likely voters back Northam 61-31 percent, with 2 percent for Hyra. Men are divided as 47 percent back Gillespie and 44 percent back Northam, with 2 percent for Hyra.

Democrats back Northam 93-2 percent, with 2 percent for Hyra. Republicans back Gillespie 92-5 percent, with 1 percent for Hyra.

White likely voters are divided with 48 percent for Gillespie, 47 percent for Northam and 2 percent for Hyra. Non-white voters go to Northam 71-15 percent, with 3 percent for Hyra.

The economy is the most important issue in deciding how they will vote for governor, 25 percent of Virginia voters say, while 23 percent say health care and 11 percent cite education.

Virginia likely voters give Northam a 51 – 30 percent favorability rating. Gillespie gets a negative 39 – 45 percent favorability rating. For Hyra, 85 percent haven’t heard enough to form an opinion.


The Trump Effect

Virginia likely voters disapprove 62-35 percent of the job President Donald Trump is doing. Republicans approve 81-15 percent, and white voters with no college degree approve 55-41 percent. White men are divided 49-49 percent.

Every other party, gender, education and racial group disapproves.

If a candidate for governor supports President Trump, 51 percent of Virginia likely voters say they are less likely to vote for that candidate, as 18 percent say more likely and 30 percent say Trump support makes no difference in their vote.

Virginia likely voters disagree 61-23 percent with Trump’s tweet that Northam is fighting for MS-13 gangs and for sanctuary cities.

“The drag from President Donald Trump’s unpopularity on Republican Gillespie is gigantic. President Trump has a 35 percent approval rating in the Old Dominion – a very low number by historical standards,” Brown said.

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