Former Vice President Joe Biden holds a substantial lead over his rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination in Virginia, according to a new University of Mary Washington statewide survey.
Biden was the favorite of 23 percent of registered voters in the survey, with 9 percent favoring Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and 9 percent favoring Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. In addition, 5 percent favored California Sen. Kamala Harris and 4 percent favored South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, according to the poll, which was conducted Sept. 3-15 for UMW by Research America Inc.
The survey asked about the 10 Democratic candidates who participated in the most recent series of debates. Among the other candidates, 2 percent of registered voters said they supported Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and 2 percent supported Andrew Yang, an entrepreneur. One percent each favored the other three candidates in the survey: former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro.
The remaining registered voters said they would not vote in the primary or declined to express a favorite.
“The latest Mary Washington survey demonstrates that the national favorites are also ahead in Virginia,” said Stephen J. Farnsworth, professor of political science at the University of Mary Washington and director of its Center for Leadership and Media Studies. “Some candidates who have made a point of spending a lot of time in Virginia, like Beto O’Rourke, are still struggling to make their way into the top tier.”
Virginia voters do not register by party, so all registered voters are eligible to vote in the Commonwealth’s March 3, 2020, Democratic presidential primary. Republicans in Virginia have decided to select their presidential nominee in a party convention.
The Virginia survey was completed before the emergence of recent allegations that President Trump improperly withheld federal financial support for Ukraine in order to get the Ukrainian government to investigate the Biden family.
Warren and Biden were the two most popular second choices among registered voters, garnering second choice nods from 11 percent and 10 percent respectively of the registered voters in the survey. Harris was the second choice of 7 percent, as compared to 6 percent for Sanders and 5 percent for Buttigieg.
Among male registered voters, Biden received the support of 24 percent as compared to 10 percent for Sanders and 9 percent for Warren. Among women, Biden also finished first, with 22 percent support as compared to 10 percent for Warren and 7 percent for Sanders.
White registered voters favored Biden by a margin of 19 percent to 11 percent for Warren and 7 percent for Sanders. African Americans favored Biden by a margin of 39 percent versus 12 percent for Sanders, 11 percent for Harris, 6 percent for Yang and 4 percent for Warren. There were too few members of other racial or ethnic groups in the survey to generate meaningful differences in support for the candidates.
“The same candidates who dominate the first-choice rankings also dominate the second choice rankings,” Farnsworth said. “The good news for the candidates who are further back in the field is that there are still a lot of undecided primary voters here in Virginia.”
The University of Mary Washington’s Virginia Survey Fall 2019 included telephone interviews with a representative sample of 1,009 adults, ages 18 or older, living in Virginia. Telephone interviews were conducted by landline (293) and cell phone (716). The survey was conducted by Research America Inc. Interviews were done in English from Sept. 3 to 15, 2019. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is ±3.1 percentage points (N=1,009) and ±3.3 percentage points for the subsample of registered voters (N=882).
For further survey results, see Topline or read yesterday’s story, Trump Trails Leading Democratic Candidates, UMW Survey Shows.
For more information, or to schedule an interview, contact Farnsworth at email@example.com.