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.

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Campaign 2012, Politicians, Public Opinion Polls, Quick Takes, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
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. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. john personna says:

    It may be completely safe for you to vote Libertarian, after all.

  2. michael reynolds says:

    It’s starting to look like Virginia is a put-away for Mr. Obama. I know Republican election-theft efforts are major in Pennsylvania, but I doubt they can overcome a 10 point Obama lead there. If that’s the case then all he still needs is Ohio, where he also leads.

    Florida would be nice, and thanks to the genius that is Mitt Romney, we have a really fun bunch of ads to start running in Florida. But we can lose Florida and still win.

  3. Gromitt Gunn says:

    ■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;

    I do not think that the importance of this can be overstated.

  4. Fiona says:

    The state supreme court in PA just vacated the lower court’s decision and stayed implement station of PA’s voter ID law. More bad news for Romney.

  5. David M says:

    @Fiona:

    The state supreme court in PA just vacated the lower court’s decision and stayed implement station of PA’s voter ID law. More bad news for Romney.

    I think there have been some confusing reports on what the latest decision did, TPM is now reporting the law has not been thrown out.

  6. Tsar Nicholas says:

    That’s actually a funny poll by WaPo and the New York outfit that collected the data.

    They claim that of their registered voter sample 89% are “certain to vote.” Really? Shit on a stick that would be amazing. Especially since in ’08 — a “transformative” election — turnout in VA was less than 75%.

    That aside, what takes that poll from the absurd to the truly absurd is that to believe it you necessarily have to believe that Obama will do better in VA in ’12 than he did in ’08. And if you believe that, well, I’ve got a bridge to sell you, sight unseen.

    That all said, obviously VA will be a very difficult state for Romney. You don’t need a WaPo poll to tell you that. Census data tells us that.

    VA has a much higher than average percentage of blacks, it has one of the highest median incomes in the entire nation, it’s a young state, and it has a high relative percentage of federal government workers. 1+1+1+1 = 4. A tough nut for Rommey to crack. Certainly Obama could win this state, even without the by hook or crook method. Romney also might have made a colossal error in not naming Bob McDonnell veep. But time will tell for certain. Election results and pre-election media polls often don’t jibe.

  7. Anderson says:

    I doubt Obama is really 8 points ahead in VA, but he does seem to be ahead.

    Less good is being up only 1 point in WI, in a Dem-leaning poll, too. He can probably afford that if he takes VA, but jeopardy to WI puts his electoral math askew; holding VA *and* CO becomes much more important. And we haven’t heard from Iowa in a while ….

  8. michael reynolds says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    You’re right. It’s all a trick. A media trick. The truth is everything is going great for Romney. I am 100% confident that today the Romney campaign is kicking back, feet up on their desks and not in any way shape or form freaking out and running around like their hair is on fire. You could see how calm they were by the fact that they made Romney available to the press. Suddenly. Late at night.

  9. Jay says:

    I won’t argue that Romney is actually ahead in VA. But this poll has a breakdown that assumes Democrats will do better in the state in 2012 than they did in 2008.

    If you believe that, please put away the crack pipe.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @David M: from TPM:

    In a 4-2 ruling, the justices ordered the lower court to block the law unless Pennsylvania can prove it is currently providing “liberal access” to photo identification cards and that there “will be no voter disenfranchisement” on Election Day.

  11. Rick Almeida says:

    @Jay:

    I’d be glad to see you post some evidence to the contrary.

  12. KariQ says:

    @Jay:

    I won’t argue that Romney is actually ahead in VA. But this poll has a breakdown that assumes Democrats will do better in the state in 2012 than they did in 2008.

    I don’t know that Obama will do better in 2012 than in 2008, but it isn’t completely insane to suggest that he might. Demographically, Virginia has changed over the past 4 years: the GOP-leaning white working class voters make up a smaller percentage of the populations, and Dem-leaning minority and college educated whites make up a larger percentage. This could work out to a slightly larger win in 2012, though of course it’s far from certain.

  13. Smooth Jazz says:

    “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:”

    Doug, WADR, Did you even look at the demographics and partisan breakdown of this poll or the PPP poll you quoted the other day?? Do you even care about the partisan breakdown and whether these polls are being juiced by Dem leading organization to oversample Dems by 10% +/-. This Wash Post VA poll oversamples DEms versus Reps by 12%. Do you really believe that 12% more Dems than Repubs are going to vote this year in state where Reps have a 3% registration advantage.

    You really think Dems are going to out vote Reps by 10%+ in the swing states this year (LMAO)? Don’ answer that, just read this for a reality check:

    http://datechguyblog.com/2012/09/19/nbcwsj-the-washington-post-the-new-poll-math/

    You should at least point out to your readers what the D vs R vs I breakdown of these polls are. Or you don’t believe that is relevant??

  14. Console says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    Partisan sampling can be meaningless because it is fluid. If the republican brand is shit then people won’t call themselves republicans. Simple as that. Doesn’t really change how they’ll vote, just what they label themselves.

    Basically, do you want a pollster that’s going to predict votes, or one that’s going to predict party affiliation? There is a reason they get paid to do this and you don’t. There is way more to take into consideration than just partisan labels when weighting population. Race, ideology, etc.

  15. KariQ says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    Do you really believe that 12% more Dems than Repubs are going to vote this year in state where Reps have a 3% registration advantage.

    Virginia does not have partisan registration. There is no way to determine who has a registration advantage absent partisan registration, so whoever told you this was, at best, guessing. There may be an advantage to the GOP, but given Obama’s win in 2008 and the demographic trends over the past four years, that seems unlikely.

  16. KariQ says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    I read the article you linked and boy, oh boy, does it have methodological problems and confusion about the way polls work. Rather than even attempt to deconstruct that, I will simply point out that the wikipedia page that the article points to that claims a 3-point advantage appears to be based on turnout in the 2010 GOP wave mid-term election. Turn out from a mid-term election will bear no resemblance to a presidential election under the best of circumstances, and these are not the best of circumstances for the GOP. This won’t be a Republican wave election, turn out will be higher and most of that increased turn out will be Democratic voters, given that relatively few GOP voters stayed home in 2010. “Normalizing” to the 2010 election is a fantasy.