Presidential contenders Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are locked in a close race for Virginia’s electoral votes, according to a new University of Mary Washington statewide survey released today. Forty percent of likely voters favor the former Secretary of State compared to 37 percent who back the New York businessman.
The 3 percentage point gap, well within the survey’s margin of error, suggests a tightening of the race since last month, when a Washington Post survey of likely voters in the state found Clinton enjoyed a 7 point advantage over Trump among likely voters.
“Mary Washington’s latest survey demonstrates that Virginia remains one of the nation’s most purple states,” said Stephen J. Farnsworth, professor of political science at UMW and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies that sponsored the poll. “This survey demonstrates that the Trump campaign is wise to focus its resources on Virginia, and that the Clinton campaign is making a mistake by directing its attention elsewhere.”
Libertarian Gary Johnson received the support of 8 percent of the likely voters in the survey of 1,006 adult Virginians, conducted for UMW by Princeton Survey Research Associates Sept. 6-12.
Independent candidate Evan McMullin received the support of 3 percent of likely voters, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein was supported by 1 percent in the survey, one of the first to include all five candidates who have qualified for the Virginia ballot.
Clinton had a larger margin among registered voters, 38 percent to 33 percent, with 10 percent for Johnson. Among all adults surveyed, Clinton had the support of 37 percent, compared to 31 percent for Trump and 10 percent for Johnson.
Virginians expressed considerable dislike for both major party candidates: 51 percent of likely voters had a strongly unfavorable impression of Trump, and 50 percent felt the same about Clinton. For both candidates, 21 percent of likely voters had a strongly favorable impression.
Thirty nine percent of likely voters rated Donald Trump “honest and trustworthy,” while 33 percent of likely voters believe those terms apply to Hillary Clinton.
Among likely voters, 54 percent said Clinton had the “right kind of temperament and personality to be a good president,” compared to 34 percent who said that about Trump.
Among likely voters 36 percent said Trump was “prepared for the job of president,” compared to 56 percent who said the same thing about Clinton.
Male registered voters in Virginia favored Trump by a margin of 35 percent to 32 percent, with 14 percent favoring Johnson. Female registered voters favored Clinton by a margin of 44 percent to 31 percent, with 6 percent favoring Johnson.
White registered voters favored Trump by a margin of 42 percent to 29 percent, while African-American registered voters favored Clinton by a 70 percent to 5 percent margin. Hispanic registered voters favored Clinton by a 43 percent to 28 percent margin. Johnson had the support of 13 percent of the Latino registered voters, 11 percent of the white voters and 5 percent of the African-American voters.
“The large number of voters not prepared to commit to either of the two major party nominees demonstrates that the Democratic and Republican campaigns still have a lot of persuading to do in Virginia this fall,” Farnsworth said.
Among likely voters, 32 percent of those surveyed described themselves as Democratic, 30 percent described themselves as Republican and 35 percent described themselves as independent.
The survey of 1,006 Virginia adults included 397 landline interviews and 609 cell phone interviews. The margins of error are ±3.6 percentage points for results based on full sample, ±3.9 percentage points for results based on registered voters [N=852], and ±4.4 percentage points for results based on likely voters [N=685].
For the full survey, see the Topline.
For further information, contact Stephen J. Farnsworth firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-380-3025.