Biden’s Lead Grows in Virginia, According to Newport Poll

Joe Biden's lead keeps growing in Virginia, according to the latest polling numbers.

By Brian Carlton
September 24, 2020

Latest university poll offered surprising data, as some older voters step away from Trump.

NEWPORT NEWS-Joe Biden’s lead keeps growing in Virginia. Thursday’s poll from Christopher Newport University put the Democratic nominee ahead of President Trump 48% to 43% among likely voters. When the discussion shifts to enthusiastic voters, Biden’s lead stretches farther, 51% to 43%.

“Little chance Trump wins Virginia in 2020, as voters seem locked in,” Quentin Kidd said in a statement. Kidd, who serves as academic director for the Wason Center for Public Policy at CNU, pointed out Hillary Clinton won Virginia by 5 points in 2016. Biden’s campaign appears to be following similar trends in the commonwealth. 

The numbers show Biden’s campaign gaining ground across the board. Among women he holds a 27% advantage, beating Trump 61% to 34%. The point that surprised university pollsters was the fact Biden and Trump are at a draw when it comes to voters 45 and older. In the poll analysis, Wason Center officials pointed out that group has been Trump’s base in the past. Now, they don’t seem as interested. When it comes to the younger demographic, Biden wins there too. He currently holds a 56% to 38% lead over Trump and 66% to 30% when talking with college-educated voters. The Black community also show strong support for Biden in this poll. Black voters chose Biden by a 75% to 14% margin over Trump. 

By comparison, Trump holds a lead over Biden with three voting groups. The first is non-college-educated voters. In that situation, he holds a 54% to 37% advantage. Second, Trump leads with white voters, 53% to 43% and with men in general, 52% to 40%. 

Warner’s Lead Grows Over Gade

Sen. Mark Warner also leads in his re-election bid, by a significant margin over Republican Daniel Gade. Warner holds a 13 point lead, 52% to 39% among likely Virginia voters. 

“This differs from the more tightly contested race in 3014, when Warner defeated Republican Ed Gillespie by just over 1%,” the CNU analysis states. “Warner’s lead over Gade is built on strong support among the traditional Democratic coalition of women, Black voters, younger voters and college-educated voters, but Warner also leads among independents and voters 45 and older.” 

Gade, meanwhile, the report states, holds a slight lead when it comes to white voters and men. He also holds a strong lead when it comes to anyone who didn’t go to college. 

In general, those polled have a negative view of both the commonwealth and the country. A total of 76% said the country is headed in the wrong direction, with 47% saying the same was true for Virginia. 

“Assessments of both the country and the Commonwealth have worsened compared to recent years,” the CNU pollsters stated. 

And to be clear, it’s a pretty steep drop. In Dec. 2018, only 49 percent of Virginia voters said the country was headed in the wrong direction. Now that’s jumped nearly 30 points. At the same time period, only 25 percent said Virginia was in bad shape, compared to 47% two years later. What’s odd is that despite the change in view, most people feel the same way now about the two men leading the country and commonwealth. President Trump’s job approval rate stands at 40%, which is almost identical to when he took office. Gov. Ralph Northam’s support also stayed steady at 53%, the same as it’s been for nearly two years. 

Where Did The Data Come From? 

The poll data came from 796 interviews with registered Virginia voters. In order to be considered for the poll, a person had to vote in at least two general elections over the last four years. That was the difference between this one and a poll released last week by Virginia Commonwealth University. The VCU poll didn’t require any previous voting experience.

Overall, it appeared that older voters were more of a focus for this week’s poll, as they made up 57% of those polled. Those who responded were nearly split in terms of political parties. Republicans made up 40%, Democrats 36% and Independents came in at 24%.

Brian Carlton is the managing editor for Dogwood. He can be reached at [email protected].

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