According to new polling results released by Rasmussen Reports, a statewide telephone survey of Likely Virginia Voters finds Republican Ed Gillespie and Democrat Ralph Northam each earning 45 percent support in their race for the governorship. Two percent prefer Libertarian candidate Cliff Hyra. Another two percent prefer other candidates, while six percent remain undecided.
Both Gillespie and Northam earned comparable support in the mid-80s from voters in their respective parties, being tied among the unaffiliated.
The survey showed that 32 percent of Virginia voters say the economy and jobs are their top concerns, followed by 22 percent for whom taxes and spending rank most important. Cultural concerns, such as Confederate monuments, trailed at 12 percent, while almost as many cited (11 percent cited illegal immigration. Nine percent are most concerned with law and order. Another 12 percent have other concerns. .
Northam, the incumbent current lieutenant governor, leads among voters who put the economy and jobs first. Gillespie, a longtime GOP activist who ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 2014, leads among voters in nearly all other categories. The two are tied among voters who list cultural concerns first.
The state survey of 875 Likely Voters in Virginia was conducted October 31-November 3, 2017 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3.5 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.
Thirty-nine percent of Virginia voters say they are more likely to vote in this year’s gubernatorial contest because Donald Trump is in the White House. Ten percent say they are less likely to do so for that reason, while 50 percent say Trump has no impact on their decision whether to vote.
Among voters who are more likely to vote because of Trump, Northam leads 58 percent to 35 percent.
Northam has a lead among voters under 40, blacks and other minorities. Gillespie has the advantage among older voters and whites.
Gillespie and Northam have similar favorability ratings. Fifty percent of all voters in Virginia have a favorable opinion of Northam, with 26 percent who view him Very Favorably. Gillespie is seen favorably by 52 percent, including 27% with a Very Favorable view.
Fifty-four percent of Virginia voters say the national economy as good or excellent these days. Just 12 percent consider it poor. Fifty-four percent describe their own personal finances as good or excellent; 14 percent say poor.