September 19, 2017 - Dem Tops 50 Percent, Up 10 Pts In Va Governor's Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Trump Has Big Disapproval Rating Quinnipiac University Polling Logo
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In the Virginia governor's race, Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam tops the magic 50 percent mark among likely voters, leading Republican Ed Gillespie 51 - 41 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Libertarian Party candidate Cliff Hyra gets 3 percent.

Northam leads Gillespie 95 - 3 percent among Democrats, with 1 percent for Hyra, and 50 - 37 percent among independent voters, with 7 percent for Hyra. Gillespie takes Republicans 94 - 4 percent, with no measurable support for Hyra, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe- ack) University Poll finds.

This survey of likely voters can not be compared to earlier surveys of registered voters.

There are wide gender and racial gaps as men back the Republican 49 - 39 percent while women back the Democrat 61 - 34 percent. White voters back Gillespie 49 - 44 percent while non-white voters back Northam 74 - 16 percent.

Northam gets a 47 - 31 percent favorability rating among Virginia likely voters. Gillespie gets 40 percent favorable and 39 percent unfavorable.

For Hyra, 84 percent of likely voters don't know enough about him to form an opinion of him.

"Virginians were just getting used to the idea that the Old Dominion was no longer that tried-and-true, rock-solid Republican bastion that had been the case since the civil rights era of the 1960s and was now a swing state. But as these poll numbers demonstrate, politics in Virginia may be moving further leftward," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

"If Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam can keep his lead over Republican Ed Gillespie in the race for governor, it won't be long before the state is considered part of the reliably Democratic Blue Wall in the East."

"After all, the state has voted Democratic for president the last three times and reliably Democratic in most statewide elections over the past decade," Brown added.

"Moreover, Republican President Donald Trump is deeply unpopular while Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe is popular. Of course, a come from behind victory by Gillespie would throw a monkey wrench in the Blue Wall talk. At this point, the 3 percent showing by Libertarian Cliff Hyra is not enough to make much of a difference in the race unless Gillespie stages a rally."

For 27 percent of Virginia likely voters, the economy is the most important issue in deciding how they will vote for governor. Another 21 percent cite health care, as 12 percent list education, 11 percent say taxes and 10 percent say immigration. Approval for President Trump, Gov. McAuliffe, U.S. Senators

Virginia likely voters disapprove 58 - 39 percent of the job President Donald Trump is doing. Democrats disapprove 97 - 3 percent and independent voters disapprove 64 - 32 percent, as Republicans approve 88 - 8 percent.

Voters approve 56 - 37 percent of the job Gov. Terry McAuliffe is doing, including 91 - 3 percent among Democrats and 60 - 32 percent among independent voters. Republicans disapprove 82 - 10 percent.

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine gets a 55 - 40 percent approval rating among likely voters, with a 62 - 33 percent approval rating for U.S. Sen. Mark Warner.

From September 14 - 18, Quinnipiac University surveyed 850 Virginia likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 4.2 percentage points, including the design effect. Live interviewers call landlines and cell phones.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys nationwide, and in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa and Colorado as a public service and for research.

Visit poll.qu.edu or www.facebook.com/quinnipiacpoll

Call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter @QuinnipiacPoll.


1. If the election for Governor were being held today, and the candidates were Ralph Northam the Democrat, Ed Gillespie the Republican, and Cliff Hyra the Libertarian, for whom would you vote? (If undecided) As of today, do you lean more toward Ralph Northam the Democrat, Ed Gillespie the Republican or Cliff Hyra the Libertarian?
                     LIKELY VOTERS........................................
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Northam              51%     4%    95%    50%    39%    61%    52%    35%
Gillespie            41     94      3     37     49     34     42     57
Hyra                  3      -      1      7      6      1      2      5
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 5      2      1      7      6      4      4      3
 
                     WHITE.....           Non-
                     Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Northam              32%    54%    44%    74%
Gillespie            58     41     49     16
Hyra                  6      1      3      3
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 4      3      4      7
 
 
2. Is your opinion of Ralph Northam favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS........................................
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Favorable            47%    10%    80%    48%    37%    55%    52%    35%
Unfavorable          31     63      5     29     39     23     32     41
Hvn't hrd enough     21     26     14     21     22     20     14     23
REFUSED               2      2      -      2      2      1      2      1
 
                     WHITE.....           Non-
                     Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Favorable            34%    53%    44%    56%
Unfavorable          48     26     36     13
Hvn't hrd enough     17     19     18     30
REFUSED               2      1      2      1
 
 
3. Is your opinion of Ed Gillespie favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS........................................
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Favorable            40%    82%     8%    38%    49%    32%    42%    55%
Unfavorable          39      5     69     41     30     46     44     27
Hvn't hrd enough     19     11     22     20     18     20     12     17
REFUSED               2      1      1      2      2      1      2      1
 
                     WHITE.....           Non-
                     Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Favorable            58%    38%    48%    18%
Unfavorable          26     46     36     48
Hvn't hrd enough     14     15     15     33
REFUSED               2      1      2      2
 
 
4. Is your opinion of Cliff Hyra favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS........................................
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Favorable             7%     5%     5%     8%     9%     5%     4%     6%
Unfavorable           8     13      6      6     10      6      8      8
Hvn't hrd enough     84     81     88     85     81     88     87     86
REFUSED               1      1      -      2      1      1      1      1
 
                     WHITE.....           Non-
                     Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Favorable             7%     3%     5%    12%
Unfavorable           9      6      8      7
Hvn't hrd enough     83     90     86     80
REFUSED               1      1      1      1
 
 
5. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Terry McAuliffe is handling his job as Governor?
                     LIKELY VOTERS........................................
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Approve              56%    10%    91%    60%    50%    61%    58%    41%
Disapprove           37     82      3     32     43     30     36     50
DK/NA                 8      8      7      7      7      9      6      9
 
                     WHITE.....           Non-
                     Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Approve              43%    56%    50%    75%
Disapprove           51     36     43     16
DK/NA                 6      8      7      9
 
 
6. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                     LIKELY VOTERS........................................
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Approve              43%    41%    44%    46%    47%    40%    44%    38%
Disapprove           43     44     43     41     43     44     43     51
DK/NA                13     15     13     13     10     16     13     12
 
                     WHITE.....           Non-
                     Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Approve              46%    37%    41%    52%
Disapprove           45     49     47     34
DK/NA                10     15     12     15
 
 
7. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Mark Warner is handling his job as United States Senator?
                     LIKELY VOTERS........................................
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Approve              62%    25%    92%    63%    55%    68%    65%    47%
Disapprove           33     68      5     31     42     25     31     48
DK/NA                 5      7      3      6      4      7      4      5
 
                     WHITE.....           Non-
                     Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Approve              47%    65%    57%    79%
Disapprove           49     29     39     13
DK/NA                 4      5      5      8
 
 
8. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Tim Kaine is handling his job as United States Senator?
                     LIKELY VOTERS........................................
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Approve              55%     6%    92%    61%    47%    63%    58%    41%
Disapprove           40     88      5     35     49     33     38     54
DK/NA                 5      6      3      5      5      5      4      5
 
                     WHITE.....           Non-
                     Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Approve              41%    58%    50%    74%
Disapprove           55     36     45     22
DK/NA                 4      5      5      5
 
 
9. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Donald Trump is handling his job as President?
                     LIKELY VOTERS........................................
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Approve              39%    88%     3%    32%    45%    33%    35%    56%
Disapprove           58      8     97     64     52     64     62     40
DK/NA                 3      4      -      3      3      3      3      4
 
                     WHITE.....           Non-
                     Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Approve              52%    38%    45%    18%
Disapprove           44     59     52     81
DK/NA                 4      3      3      1
 
 
10. Which of these is the most important issue to you in deciding how to vote for governor this year: taxes, the economy, education, health care, race relations, the environment, or immigration?
                     LIKELY VOTERS........................................
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Taxes                11%    17%     5%    12%    14%     8%     9%    16%
Economy              27     39     13     29     34     20     29     27
Education            12      8     12     13     13     12     13     10
Health care          21     10     34     18     17     25     23     17
Race relations        8      2     14      8      6     10      5      5
Environment           5      1     10      5      3      7      6      8
Immigration          10     17      6      9      8     11      9     13
SOMETHING ELSE(VOL)   2      4      -      2      3      1      2      2
DK/NA                 4      2      6      4      3      5      3      3
 
                     WHITE.....           Non-
                     Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Taxes                15%     9%    12%     7%
Economy              35     22     28     21
Education            12     12     12     14
Health care          17     24     21     25
Race relations        2      7      5     18
Environment           4     10      7      1
Immigration           9     12     11      6
SOMETHING ELSE(VOL)   3      1      2      2
DK/NA                 3      3      3      8