October 18, 2017 - Democrat Holds 14-Point Likely Voter Lead In Virginia, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Independent Voters Disapprove Of Trump 2-1 Quinnipiac University Polling Logo
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With 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 September 19 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

From October 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.

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.

Independent voters back the Democrat 53 - 39 percent, with 3 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.

"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.

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. President Trump's Approval

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 added.

Likely voters approve 56 - 36 percent of the job Gov. Terry McAuliffe is doing.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys nationwide, and statewide polls 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              53%     5%    93%    53%    44%    61%    55%    34%
Gillespie            39     92      2     39     47     31     40     62
Hyra                  2      1      2      3      2      2      2      2
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -      -      -      -      1      -
DK/NA                 5      3      3      5      5      5      3      3
 
                     WHITE.....           Non-
                     Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Northam              39%    54%    47%    71%
Gillespie            57     41     48     15
Hyra                  2      2      2      3
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 2      3      3     10
 
 
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            51%     9%    87%    49%    44%    58%    57%    34%
Unfavorable          30     66      2     32     37     23     31     45
Hvn't hrd enough     16     23      9     17     16     17     11     19
REFUSED               3      2      2      1      2      3      1      2
 
                     WHITE.....           Non-
                     Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Favorable            41%    54%    48%    62%
Unfavorable          45     28     37     14
Hvn't hrd enough     12     17     14     20
REFUSED               1      2      2      4
 
 
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            39%    83%     7%    40%    46%    32%    40%    58%
Unfavorable          45      5     78     44     37     52     51     29
Hvn't hrd enough     13      9     13     14     14     13      8     12
REFUSED               3      2      3      2      3      3      1      2
 
                     WHITE.....           Non-
                     Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Favorable            55%    39%    47%    21%
Unfavorable          34     50     42     51
Hvn't hrd enough      9     10     10     22
REFUSED               2      1      1      6
 
 
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             5%     3%     6%     5%     6%     5%     3%     6%
Unfavorable           7      7      8      6      9      5      8      9
Hvn't hrd enough     85     88     82     87     82     88     88     83
REFUSED               3      1      3      1      3      3      1      2
 
                     WHITE.....           Non-
                     Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Favorable             5%     4%     4%     8%
Unfavorable          10      6      8      4
Hvn't hrd enough     84     88     86     83
REFUSED               1      2      1      5
 
 
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%    17%    88%    55%    48%    62%    58%    40%
Disapprove           36     73      6     38     42     30     36     50
DK/NA                 9     10      6      7     10      8      6     10
 
                     WHITE.....           Non-
                     Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Approve              42%    59%    50%    70%
Disapprove           50     33     42     19
DK/NA                 8      8      8     11
 
 
6. 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              35%    81%     4%    34%    40%    31%    36%    55%
Disapprove           62     15     96     65     57     67     63     41
DK/NA                 2      4      1      2      3      2      1      3
 
                     WHITE.....           Non-
                     Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Approve              49%    38%    44%    14%
Disapprove           49     60     54     83
DK/NA                 2      2      2      3
 
 
7. 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, gun policy, or immigration?
                     LIKELY VOTERS........................................
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Taxes                 6%    14%     3%     5%     7%     5%     8%     8%
Economy              25     34     12     31     31     20     24     31
Education            11      4     15     11     10     11      9      8
Health care          23     15     34     20     15     30     26     18
Race relations        6      2      9      8      7      6      4      4
Environment           6      -      7      6      6      6      6      5
Gun policy            8      7     11      6     10      7      9     10
Immigration           7     13      3      8      6      7      8      8
SOMETHING ELSE(VOL)   2      5      1      2      3      2      3      2
DK/NA                 5      6      6      3      5      6      4      5
 
                     WHITE.....           Non-
                     Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Taxes                 8%     7%     8%     2%
Economy              34     19     27     21
Education             7      9      8     17
Health care          14     32     23     24
Race relations        4      3      4     14
Environment           6      6      6      4
Gun policy           12      7      9      6
Immigration           7      9      8      5
SOMETHING ELSE(VOL)   3      2      3      2
DK/NA                 4      5      5      6
 
 
8. If a candidate for governor supports President Trump, does that make you more likely to vote for them, less likely to vote for them, or doesn't it have an impact either way?
                     LIKELY VOTERS........................................
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
More likely          18%    49%     -     15%    20%    16%    16%    32%
Less likely          51      6     88     51     44     58     54     28
No impact            30     43     11     34     34     25     28     39
DK/NA                 1      2      1      1      1      1      1      2
 
                     WHITE.....           Non-
                     Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
More likely          25%    20%    23%     8%
Less likely          36     51     44     71
No impact            38     27     33     21
DK/NA                 1      1      1      -
 
 
9. As you may know, President Trump tweeted that Ralph Northam is fighting for MS-13 gangs and sanctuary cities. Do you agree or disagree with this statement?
                     LIKELY VOTERS........................................
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Agree                23%    51%     4%    23%    30%    17%    21%    36%
Disagree             61     23     89     60     54     67     64     44
DK/NA                16     26      7     17     17     16     15     20
 
                     WHITE.....           Non-
                     Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Agree                35%    19%    27%    12%
Disagree             50     62     56     73
DK/NA                15     19     17     15