State House News Service


Gillespie closes the gap on Northam; Virginians favor keeping Confederate monuments


ROANOKE, Va., Sept. 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Republican Gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie has narrowed the gap, and now trails Democrat Ralph Northam by four percentage points (47%-43%), which is within the margin of error. Libertarian Cliff Hyra has the support of five percent of likely voters, and only five percent remain undecided, according to The Roanoke College Poll. The Institute for Policy and Opinion Research interviewed 596 likely voters in Virginia between September 16 and September 23 and has a margin of error of +4 percent.

The race for governor

Voters are also becoming more familiar with both major party candidates. Gillespie (34%-27%) and Northam (32%-25%) are viewed more favorably than unfavorably by voters. While 26 percent don't know enough about Gillespie to have an opinion about him, and 34 percent don't know enough about Northam, both figures are significantly lower than those in the August RC Poll. 

In the contest among two groups often thought to be pivotal in elections, Northam leads among ideological moderates (51%-32%), but Gillespie holds an insignificant lead among political Independents (42%-40%).

President Trump, the country, and the Commonwealth

While more than half of those polled (56%) disapprove of the way President Trump is handling his job, and just over one-third (36%) approve, his approval rose eight percent in a month. At the same time, a majority (54%) of respondents have an unfavorable view of him, while 35 percent have a favorable impression of Trump.

A majority (63%) of Virginians think the country is on the wrong track, while 30 percent think it is headed in the right direction.

Immigration and Confederate monuments

IPOR continues to track important issues in the Commonwealth. 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.

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).

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SOURCE Roanoke College

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