Northam maintains double-digit lead in Quinnipiac poll

Frederick Owens
October 19, 2017

A new poll from Monmouth University shows Republican candidate Ed Gillespie holding a slight lead over Democrat Ralph Northam in the race to be Virginia's next governor. Northam also reported 6,860 donations under a $100 in September, more than twice the number of small-dollar donations Gillespie received.

600 likely voters took part in the poll.

"With even a weak third-party candidate on the ballot, the victor may not cross the 50% mark", said Rachel Bitecofer, assistant director of the Wason Center.

Virginia is the only competitive governor's race in the country this year, and some view the contest as an early referendum on President Donald Trump. The poll from Monmouth University has Gillespie leading 48 percent to 47 percent over Northam, with Hyra polling 3 percent and 3 percent undecided.

"New Jersey's off-year statewide elections were scheduled that way to stop voters from being influenced by national forces when they cast their votes", said Krista Jenkins, director of the Public Mind Poll and a professor of political science at FDU.

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"We have the resources we need to get our message out", he said.

"It is hard to tease out a specific Trump effect from all the other considerations Virginians make in deciding how to vote in this race", he said. Northam is trying to tie Gilespie, a traditional Republican, to Trump. "But there's plenty of room and time left for Northam to close the deal or for Gillespie to close the gap".

But so far, Trump has not been a big factor, Murray said. Overall, 54% approve of the job Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe is doing.

The Virginia survey was conducted by landline and cell phone October 9-13, 2017.

This poll comes just a day after a Wason Center poll showed Northam with a 4 point lead, which falls within that poll's margin of error.

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