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Two Polls Show Obama Leading Republicans In Virginia

I noted a week or so back that Virginia was one of six states that the GOP had to win in November if they were going to win the Presidential election. Well it’s early, but things are not looking good in the Old Dominion at the moment. Two polls out this week have the President beating both Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum in the state after a period in which the prospective November race in the state was much closer and more favorable for the GOP.

First up, earlier this week we had a poll from Quinnipiac University:

President Obama appears to be widening his lead against all Republican presidential hopefuls, including Mitt Romney, among voters in the swing state of Virginia, according to a new poll.

The Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday shows Obama beating Romney, 50 percent to 42 percent, his biggest lead over the former Massachusetts governor in this election cycle.

The Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday shows Obama’s approval rating sits at 51 percent. Forty nine percent of those polled say he deserves to be re-elected.

“President Barack Obama has opened up some daylight in Virginia against his Republican challengers,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “His margin over Romney, in the state where Obama has been struggling after his win in 2008, compares to a slight 47-43 percent lead in February.”

Even adding Bob McDonnell, the popular Virginia governor, to the GOP ticket as vice president does not help the Republicans carry the state, according to the poll. In a matchup of Obama and Vice President Joe Biden against Romney and McDonnell, the Democrats win, 50 percent to 43 percent.

(…)

The president leads former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum 49 percent to 40 percent; former House speaker Newt Gingrich, 54 perce.nt to 35 percent; and Rep. Ron Paul (Texas) 49 percent to 39 percent.

Then, today we get a poll with nearly the exact same results from Rasmussen:

President Obama now clears the 50% mark in support against his top two potential Republican challengers in the battleground state of Virginia.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Virginia Voters finds the president leading former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney by nine points – 51% to 42%. It was a six-point race a month ago – Obama 49%, Romney 43%. Four percent (4%) now prefer another candidate in the race, and four percent (4%) more are undecided.

Interestingly enough it doesn’t appear that Rasmussen even bother polling Santorum v. Obama in the Old Dominion. There’s still seven months to go, of course, and anything can happen but if this holds up the GOP is going to have a big problem to contend with in a state that it cannot afford to lose and in which the  Obama campaign is already on the ground organizing. This isn’t an automatic win for Obama either, of course, and the numbers are likely to tighten when the General Election race actually starts. However, without having access to the crosstabs for either of these polls, I would suspect that the past two months or so of the GOP doing everything it can to alienate independent voters and women is partly behind these numbers, and if Republicans don’t drop that nonsense quickly Virginia won’t be the only state they’ll have problems in.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Brummagem Joe says:

    I would suspect that the past two months or so of the GOP doing everything it can to alienate independent voters and women is partly behind these numbers, and if Republicans don’t drop that nonsense quickly Virginia won’t be the only state they’ll have problems in.

    So how do you think they drop it Doug? Repeal the legislation they’ve just passed? Say sorry we didn’t mean it? Romney and the GOP are married to these positions and Obama hasn’t fired a shot yet. He’s going to spend millions reinforcing the facts about the Republican party’s contempt for women’s health issues in the minds of VA voters. I commented on these VA numbers yesterday because they surprised even me. And btw how does this alienation of women square with your assurance about a week ago that issues of contraception, women’s health, etc. would be unimportant in the election?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  2. @Brummagem Joe:

    You raise good questions, I’m not saying I have the answers.

    However…..

    If this election gets decided over something as stupid and pointless as contraception and abortion then our republic is screwed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 15

  3. anjin-san says:

    So how do you think they drop it Doug?

    Good question. That “nonsense” is at the heart what the modern GOP is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  4. Rick Almeida says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    If this election gets decided over something as stupid and pointless as contraception and abortion then our republic is screwed.

    Your mother, wife, and sisters might disagree.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 1

  5. Ron Beasley says:

    Voters don’t like what Obama has done or that he hasn’t been able to turn a damaged economy on a dime. But to beat him The republicans have to come up with a candidate that people think will do better. Add to that Republican Governors in swing states that have done everything they could to alienate a majority of voters in their states. And yes the return of the ancient culture wars will damage the Republicans.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  6. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    If this election gets decided over something as stupid and pointless as contraception and abortion then our republic is screwed.

    Well contraception and abortion maybe stupid and pointless issues to you but they resonate massively with many women. Even I know this and I’m a blimp. And no the election won’t be decided over these issues principally but they are factors in building a coalition of voting support. And in terms of the GOP they just one part of the jigsaw of their perceived bigotry and misogny. Correctly in my view.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  7. @Doug Mataconis:

    If this election gets decided over something as stupid and pointless as contraception and abortion then our republic is screwed.

    And yet the Republicans see almost pathologically incapable of not pushing it to the front of the debate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  8. anjin-san says:

    something as stupid and pointless as contraception and abortion

    Conservatives want to send women back to 1950. I don’t think that is a trivial issue. Are we going to see severe restrictions placed upon the freedom of over half the population because some aging white men think it’s a good idea?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  9. An Interested Party says:

    I guess to a libertarian, only certain freedoms mean anything…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  10. Moosebreath says:

    AIP,

    Exactly. The freedoms which interest Doug are those which allow the 1% to do whatever they want. They were always able to buy contraception and abortion, even if they had to go abroad to do it. Freedoms which affect the 99% don’t interest him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  11. Bleev K says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    If this election gets decided over something as stupid and pointless as contraception and abortion then our republic is screwed.

    Better be poor freeman than a poor slave.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  12. KariQ says:

    Contraception and abortion seem more important than the Pledge of Allegiance, which is what the 1988 election was on, even leaving aside the points that others have made that women feel more strongly about these issues than Doug seems to.

    I saw the Q-pac poll earlier in the week and thought it had to be an outlier. Obama ahead by 8 in Virginia? I just didn’t think it was possible. Now that Ras has come out with virtually identical numbers, I don’t know. I’m still leaning toward “No way, that can’t be right!” If Obama is ahead by anything like that much, it’s going to take a major event for the GOP to win the state.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  13. David says:

    Usually, the votes in a presidential election year are top down. Virginia may end up being a bottom up driven vote.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  14. Anonne says:

    Personally, I thought all the dropping numbers were wrong. I mean really, look at the clown show that the Republican Primary has been. It’s riches of embarrassment, not embarrassment of riches there. Yes, there are a lot of people still critical of Obama for legitimate, non-tribal reasons. But that doesn’t mean he won’t get re-elected because the alternative is scarier.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  15. Liberty60 says:

    @Brummagem Joe:

    So how do you think they drop it Doug?

    Don’t they just turn upside down and shake real hard?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. Steve says:

    Interesting but Polls can be manipulated anyway way you want via Sampling and how the question is worded.

    We addressed this in a January post titled “Color Virginia Red”. Read it here…

    http://commoncts.blogspot.com/2012/01/color-virginia-red.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  17. section9 says:

    But Doug, Doug!

    I thought Palin was the problem with the GOP? You’ve been peddling that Establishment Line for years!

    Remember, we have to reach out to Independents. Well, Indies look like they’re giving Mittens a swift kick in the yarbles.

    Could it be that the GOP Establishment’s insistence on nominating a deeply inauthentic phony who stands for nothing, save a rising tide lifting all yachts, has been more than dimly perceived by an electorate that is now being given a choice between two Sham-Wow salesmen?

    Romney is in favor of….wait for it….Romney. After all, what Obama has going for him is that he stands for something. It is the wrong set of somethings, but it is something. Mittens is a tall, distinguished version of the Great, Inoffensive Candidate, and so far, if one thinks, one has trouble perceiving anything truly memorable about Mitt’s platform. Congratulations, Doug! You and the Establishment have foisted the Zima Guy on the GOP, sans the bowler!

    You Establishment mouthpieces thought that voters wouldn’t pick up on this? This is what you guys get for NOT running Jeb Bush instead of Mittens. But NOOOOO, you people wanted to be liked by the Mainstream Media! See where that gets ya!

    Mitt Romney: John Kerry, Part Deux…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1