Final CNU Poll of Virginia Governor, Down-Ticket Races

On election eve Christopher Newport University released their final poll for Virginia’s statewide races. The poll, conducted October 29-November 4, tracked governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general.

To put this poll and all others in perspective, the last CNU poll in 2014 had Mark Warner leading Ed Gillespie by 7 percent. Ed lost that race by 0.8 percent.

Ed Gillespie (R): 45 percent
Ralph Northam (D): 51 percent
Cliff Hyra (L): 2 percent
Undecided: 2 percent
Margin of error: +/- 3.5 percent

Lieutenant Governor:
Jill Vogel (R): 45 percent
Justin Fairfax (D): 50 percent

Attorney General:
John Adams (R): 45 percent
Mark Herring (D): 49 percent

Some points from the poll:

Northam’s lead is demographically and regionally broad. He leads among independents by 13 points (51% to 38%) and moderates by 29 points (62% to 33%). He holds significant leads among women, black voters, younger voters, voters with incomes below $50,000, and in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads.

Gillespie leads among white voters and men, but the candidates are statistically tied among voters 45 and older and voters in Southwest-Southside, two normally reliable Republican segments.

Likely voters are firmly in their partisan and ideological corners, with Northam getting 98% of Democratic and 91% of liberal votes and Gillespie taking 95% of Republican and 86% of conservative votes.

“While each candidate seems to have locked down his base, Northam appears to be winning the appeal to political independents and ideological moderates,” said Quentin Kidd, director of the Wason Center.

“It’s hard to see how Gillespie can make up this deficit when he has consistently trailed Northam among independents by more than 10 points,” said Rachel Bitecofer, assistant director of the Wason Center. “To put it in perspective, in 2013 the Republican led among independents but still ended up losing by 2.6 percent.”

Down-ticket, the Democratic candidates continue to lead their Republican rivals. In the race for lieutenant governor, Democrat Justin Fairfax leads Republican state Sen. Jill Vogel, 50% to 45%. Seeking a second term as attorney general, incumbent Democrat Mark Herring leads John Adams, 49% to 45%.

The Wason Center surveyed 839 likely Virginia voters, Oct. 29-Nov. 4. The overall margin of error is +/- 3.5%.

It comes down to voter turnout. It’s as simple as that. If nothing else, 2014 showed Ed is a late closer and cannot be taken for granted. Republicans have undertaken a huge get-out-the-vote effort to get the team over the finish line.

For more in-depth information go here and here.

The election is tomorrow, November 7.

Graphic from CNU Wason Center.