Roanoke College Poll Shows Gillespie, Northam Remain In Tight Race

The Institute for Policy and Opinion Research at Roanoke College released a poll Tuesday that showed the Virginia governor’s race between Republican Ed Gillespie and Democrat Ralph Northam remains tight. Though Northam is ahead, Gillespie is within the margin of error:

  • Ed Gillespie (R): 43 percent
  • Ralph Northam (D): 47 percent
  • Cliff Hyra (L): 5 percent
  • Undecided: 5 percent
  • Margin of error: +/- 4 percent

Harry Wilson, director of the Roanoke College Poll, commented, “It certainly looks like we have a competitive race for governor. Northam and Gillespie are close in the current vote tally, in their favorable/unfavorable ratings, and in their issues. Voters agree with Northam on free community college and Gillespie on cutting taxes.  They side with Northam on immigration but with Gillespie on Confederate monuments. In an election that may well be decided by turnout, neither side has an advantage as of today, with 86% of Republicans and 87% of Democrats saying they are very likely to vote.”

The top three issues for voters:

  • Health care
  • Economic issues/jobs
  • Education

Concerning DACA and other immigration issues the poll noted:

A majority (61%) of likely voters disagree with President Trump’s decision to end DACA (32% agree), and the same number (61%) oppose building the wall along the Mexican border. While a plurality (45%) think that the number of people currently allowed to legally immigrate to the United States each year (just over 1 million) is about right, 31 percent think that is too many, and only 14 percent think it is too few. Virginians are split between favoring a system that attempts to keep families together (43%) or one that favors immigrants with job skills (41%). Finally, Virginians prefer a path to citizenship (55%) for undocumented immigrants, while 28 percent would allow them to become legal residents, and 13 percent favor deportation. Sentiment regarding immigration has changed little since we asked about that issue in February 2017.

Concerning Confederate monuments:

With regard to Confederate monuments, a majority (62%) views them as historical objects, while only 28 percent see them as racist symbols. Two-thirds of respondents (66%) favor keeping statues honoring Confederate leaders such as Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson intact, while 28 percent think they should be removed. Support for keeping the monuments to Civil War soldiers in place is even higher (76% think they should remain and 14% favor removal). Just over one-third of likely voters (36%) had at least one ancestor who fought in the Civil War, with a plurality of those (38%) having ancestors on both sides (35% had relatives who fought for the Confederacy, and 20% had Union soldier ancestors).

Read here for more details and other issues that were polled.

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