A recent statewide poll shows Northern Virginia voters favor former vice president Joe Biden over President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential contest by more than 2 to 1 – and that was before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D) announced an impeachment inquiry into Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.
That’s among the results of a recent University of Mary Washington poll that surveyed 882 Virginia voters from Sept. 3-15.
The poll showed all four prominent Democratic presidential candidates – Biden and Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Elizabeth Warren, D-Ma., and Kamala Harris, D-Ca. -- hold double-digit leads over Trump in a hypothetical contests.
The results show Biden enjoys a 69% to 26% margin over Trump in Northern Virginia and a 53% to 37% margin over the president in the Tidewater region – two of the most populous regions in the state.
Meanwhile, respondents in the northwestern regions of the state -- beyond the Washington suburbs -- backed Trump over Biden by a 54% to 37% margin, which was the president’s best regional performance in Virginia, according to a UMW press release.
The survey, conducted for UMW by Research America Inc., found former Biden had a 55% to 37% margin over Trump among all respondents. Meanwhile, Warren had a 53% to 38% margin over Trump, as did Sanders.
Harris, the fourth Democratic candidate considered in the Virginia survey, had a 50% to 38% margin over the president, the poll found.
The remaining respondents were uncertain or declined to express a favorite in those head-to-head match-ups.
The Virginia survey was completed before Pelosi’s Sept. 24 announcement that Congress would consider impeachment charges against the president. The speaker’s announcement followed disclosures that Trump may have blocked $391 million in congressionally approved financial support to the new Ukrainian government as a way of pressuring the nation’s new president to investigate the Biden family.
“The latest Mary Washington survey demonstrates that Donald Trump faces an uphill battle in Virginia next year against a range of possible challengers,” said Stephen J. Farnsworth, professor of political science at the University of Mary Washington and director of its Center for Leadership and Media Studies. “While a lot can change in 14 months, these are not encouraging results for Trump and other Republicans who might be on the ballot with him next year.”
The 2016 presidential ticket of Hillary Clinton and Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine carried the commonwealth by more than 5 percentage points that year. In 2018, Democratic congressional candidates in Virginia defeated three incumbent Republicans, creating a U.S. House delegation with a 7-4 Democratic majority.
In the Biden-Trump match-up, the president also faces a significant gender gap in Virginia, as women said they favored Biden by a 60% to 31% margin, while men split for Biden by a 49% to 43% margin, the press release said.
There is also a difference among voters of varying ages: two-thirds of the voters under the age of 25 favored Biden, as compared to just under half of the voters 55 years of age or older.
Whites split almost evenly between Biden and Trump, while African Americans favored Biden by an 84% to 10% margin, and Latino Americans favored him by a 58% to 32% percent margin, with the rest undecided.
“Negative reactions in Virginia to the Trump presidency helped propel Democratic candidates to major victories in the 2017 House of Delegates and the 2018 Congressional elections,” Farnsworth said. “The results in the survey suggest that at this point 2020 is looking to be yet another tough year for the GOP in the Old Dominion.”
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