Four Democrats in the race for the party’s nomination in 2020 hold a double-digit lead over President Donald Trump in Virginia, according to a new University of Mary Washington statewide survey.
The survey was conducted Sept. 3-15 for UMW by Research America Inc., before the Sept. 24 announcement by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that Congress would consider impeachment charges against President Trump, according to a news release.
The results found former Vice President Joe Biden had a 55% to 37% margin over Trump among all respondents. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren had a 53% to 38% margin over Trump, as did Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. California Sen. Kamala Harris, the fourth Democratic candidate considered in the Virginia survey, had a 50% to 38% margin over the president.
The remaining respondents were uncertain or declined to express a favorite in those head-to-head match-ups.
Registered voters in the survey expressed similar preferences. Among the 882 registered voters in the survey, all four candidates retained their double-digit advantages over Trump, including Biden (55% to 38%), Warren and Sanders (both 52% to 39%) and Harris (50% to 39%).
The four Democratic candidates compared to Trump in the Mary Washington survey were among the top candidates as measured in national surveys conducted in recent months.
“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.”
In the Biden-Trump match-up, the president faces a significant gender gap in Virginia, as women said they favored Biden by a 60-31% margin, while men split for Biden by a 49-43% margin.
Whites split almost evenly between Biden and Trump, while African Americans favored Biden by an 84-10% margin and Latino Americans favored him by a 58-32% margin, with the rest undecided.
Biden had a huge advantage over Trump in Northern Virginia, where the former vice president enjoys a 69% to 26% margin.
“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.”