New Poll Has Obama Up By Eight In Virginia
Yesterday, I noted a new poll from Public Policy Polling showing Obama up five points over Romney in Virginia. Today, we have a new poll from The Washington Post that has the President with an eight point lead in what may end up being the state that decides who wins the election:
President Obama continues to hold a clear lead over Mitt Romney in Virginia, a new Washington Post poll shows, buoyed by enthusiastic support rivaling what he marshaled in 2008 to snap the Democrats’ four-decade losing streak in the state.
Likely voters in the commonwealth favor Obama 52 percent to 44 percent. Among all voters, the president is up 50 percent to 43 percent, identical to his margin in a survey in early May.
Obama’s steady lead suggests that an unprecedented barrage of TV ads and dozens of in-person visits have yet to change the bottom line in the key battleground state.
In a place that rode out the recession with relative ease thanks to a huge defense sector, voters are split about evenly on Obama’s handling of the economy. That’s a more positive view than the president gets on the economy nationally.
But Romney runs evenly with Obama when it comes to whom voters trust to deal with the economy, which most Virginians, like all Americans, consider to be the most important issue.
“I think he’s actually making some progress, albeit slow, in terms of . . . moving our economy forward,” said Henry F. Robinson of Reston, a 64-year-old recruiting manager for government contractors. “I think he is protective and is concerned about the middle class, and I think that’s where the focus needs to be.”
Obama beats Romney on six of 10 issues tested in the new poll, with Romney holding significant advantages on none. The president enjoys double-digit advantages over his Republican rival on subjects such as abortion, gay marriage and Medicaid. But those issues are far down the list of priorities for most voters, whose top concern is the economy.
“I don’t have any issues with gay marriage or pro-choice. Who you fall in love with is not somebody else’s business,” said Tom McIntosh, a 40-year-old budget analyst from Springfield and a Republican. He voted for Obama last time, but intends to vote for Romney for reasons of tax policy.
“Those [social] issues are not a big topic for me,” he said.
Obama has overwhelming support among young voters in the poll and near-universal backing from black voters, reassembling two key components of his winning coalition from four years ago.
Yunus Janajreh, 18, a cashier at Buffalo Wild Wings in Blacksburg who hopes to join the Marines, said he will gladly cast his first vote for Obama.
“He has a great health plan if he could just get it working,” he said.
Romney supporters show less enthusiasm for the Republican nominee.
“I’m definitely not excited about him [Romney],” said Wills Kitchen, 28, a systems analyst from Suffolk and independent. Kitchen opposes abortion and considers it a top issue, which has him leaning toward Romney. But he’s not fully convinced that the former Massachusetts governor shares his sincere opposition.
“There’s no telling what these folks actually believe,” Kitchen said. “They’re going to pander to me. . . . If I had someone else to pick from, I probably would. If I had a choice I wouldn’t vote for either of them.”
In fact, Virginians will have some other choices on the ballot. Former congressman Virgil Goode Jr. has qualified for the presidential ballot in Virginia, as have Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party nominee Jill Stein. But those third-party options failed to register much support in the poll, with Johnson at 4 percent, Goode at 2 percent and Stein at 1 percent when they are explicitly included in the question.
Other results from the poll include the following:
- Obama slightly leads Romney on the question of who would be better able to handle the economy by a margin of 47% to 45%;
- By a margin of 55% to 36%, Virginia voters see the President as the candidate they trust to do a better job advancing the interests of the middle class;
- By a margin of 49% to 46%, Virginia voters see the President as the candidate they trust to do a better job handling taxes;
- By a margin of 53% to 42%, Virginia voters see the President as the candidate they trust to do a better job handling international affairs;
- By a margin of 54% to 37%, Virginia voters see the President as being the candidate who better understands the economic problems people in this country are having;
- The President’s overall job approval is 52% approve, 43% disapprove;
- The President’s job approve on the economy is 51% approve 48% disapprove;
- President Obama’s Favorable/Unfavorable number is at 57%/42%;
- Mitt Romney’s Favorable/Unfavorable number is at 47%/49%
With this poll, the RCP Average is now +2.8 in favor of the President, and the chart is showing him rising close to the 50% level:
This is, quite obviously a very good poll for the President and, if it’s even close to being accurate, bad news for Romney in a state that he really cannot afford to lose. Obviously what we’ve seeing here is an extension of the post-convention bounce that President Obama received down to the state level. Whether it lasts or not is, of course, an open question. However, right now Virginia is looking very good for the President and, if he can win there and in Ohio on Election Day, he would end any hope of victory the Romney campaign would have.