Democrat Joe Biden maintains a double-digit lead over President Donald Trump in Virginia and an even bigger lead in Northern Virginia, according to a new presidential election poll released Thursday by Virginia Commonwealth University.
The poll, conducted July 11-19, found presumptive Democratic nominee Biden leading Trump 50% to 39% statewide and 57% to 23% in Northern Virginia. The margin of error is plus or minus 5 percentage points.
The results were similar to those found in VCU's last poll, conducted in late March and early April. In that survey, Biden led Trump 51% to 40% statewide and 62% to 28% in Northern Virginia.
The poll was conducted by VCU's Center for Public Policy at the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs
In the most recent survey of 714 likely voters, Trump led in the Northwest, West and South Central regions of the state, which are reliably Republican but less populous. Biden's margin in Northern Virginia was his largest in any region, but he also is ahead in the Tidewater region, 46% to 34%. The survey included 246 likely voters in Northern Virginia.
Seven percent of the Northern Virginia respondents said they would support a third-party candidate, and 13% said they haven't decided who to support or refused to answer.
In 2016, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton won Virginia's electoral votes with 49.6% of the popular vote statewide to Trump's 44.6%.
Trump's ratings also fell in terms of how he is handling the coronavirus pandemic, according to the VCU survey. Statewide, 45% of respondents said they strongly disapprove of Trump's response, and in Northern Virginia 58% strongly disapprove.
However, voters rated the coronavirus pandemic just the third most important issue in determining their vote for president. The economy and health care both rated higher, although among Northern Virginia respondents, health care and coronavirus were rated about equally.
Most important issues in presidential election
Among other survey topics:
- 60% of respondents said mask-wearing is helping "a lot" to slow the spread of the coronavirus in the United States, and another 20% said it is helping a little.
- 59% said changes need to be made in the country in order for Blacks to be treated as fairly as whites, while 35% said Blacks are already treated as fairly as whites.
- 52% said Confederate monuments in Virginia should either be moved to museums or taken down entirely. This was up from just 33% who answered similarly in a December 2017 survey. Only 32% in the recent survey said the monuments should be left as they are, down from 49% in the 2017 poll.
Complete survey results are available here.