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Current Findings

Winthrop Poll November 2016 - Likely Voters in VIRGINIA

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – With the Nov. 8 election approaching quickly, likely voters in Virginia support Hillary Clinton to become the 45th president, according to the latest Winthrop Poll. 

Forty-four percent of those surveyed said they were leaning toward voting for the former Secretary of State. Republican nominee Donald Trump followed with 39% of support, while third-party candidates garnered single-digit support.

The presidential race has fluctuated with several unprecedented happenings this year. Winthrop Poll Director, Dr. Scott Huffmon, notes, “With several negative ‘October surprises’ coming out and affecting both candidates, we have seen a tightening of the race in national polls. However, while Clinton’s lead in Virginia has shrunk from its highest point, she still leads Donald Trump in the Commonwealth.”

The poll shows a significant divide between partisans in Virginia. According to Huffmon, “Deep divisions emerge between Democratic and Republican likely voters in Virginia. Huge differences in the job approval numbers for Obama and McAuliffe, the favorability ratings for Trump, Clinton, and McAuliffe, and attitudes about Muslim immigration reveal a gulf between partisan attitudes and starkly different views of the nation and state.”

For this latest Winthrop Poll, callers surveyed 712 likely voters in Virginia by landline and cell phones between October 23 and October 30, 2016. Results which use all respondents have a margin of error of approximately +/- 3.6% at the 95% confidence level. Subgroups have higher margins of error. Information about the poll methodology can be found here.

 

CANDIDATE VIBES 

Likely voters also shared how they would describe these three politicians: 

·         Hillary Clinton, 83% of Democrats said favorable, only 6% of Republicans gave her that mark.

·         Donald Trump, 68% of Republicans rated him favorable , 96% of Democrats said unfavorable. 

·         Va. Governor Terry McAuliffe, 76% of Democrats said favorable, 66% of Republicans said unfavorable.

According to Dr. Huffmon, “Virginia voters don’t have a particularly favorable view of either Trump or Clinton. While Clinton’s favorability with her base is stronger than Trump’s, Republicans aren’t likely to cross party lines to vote for someone who 93% of them view unfavorably.”

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA AND GOVERNOR MCAULIFFE

President Barack Obama’s approval rating in Virginia is at 52%. The two-term president’s ratings are split along party lines – Democratic leaning voters give him a 95% approval rating, while Republican-leaning voters disapprove of him at an 89% rate.

Governor McAuliffe’s approval rating stands at 44% while 42% of all respondents disapproved of the job he is doing as governor. Three out of four Democratic leaning voters approve of McAuliffe, now in his second year of office. Republicans think differently: only 14% approve of him, while 73% do not.

ECONOMY
Nearly 60% of the Virginia likely voters said the country is headed in the wrong direction. Republicans have a bleak view – 95% reported a negative impression. Poll respondents all together cited the economy, 15.3%; politicians/government, 10.9%; racism, 8.4%; jobs/unemployment, 7.1%; and terrorism, 5.2%, as the most pressing problems for the country. Still, 48% said the country’s economy is either very or fairly good.

Sixty-one percent said the Old Dominion’s economy was either very or fairly good. As for the most important problems facing the state, the economy, 14.6%; education, 11.7%; jobs/unemployment, 10.5%; politicians/government, 6.3%; and roads/bridges/infrastructure, 6%, was cited.

When asked about their personal financial situation, 60% of all respondents said their finances were excellent or good.

DRUGS, AMENDMENTS AND MUSLIM IMMIGRATION

Three out of five likely Virginia voters feel that marijuana should be legalized for medical purposes. They are more cautious though about the drug for recreational uses: 45% said to legalize it, while 48% opposed it.

As for prescription drugs such as pain medications, sleep aids, treatment for ADHD, etc., likely voters overwhelmingly (69%) felt like there was abuse of pills in their area.

Huffmon notes, “Prescription drug abuse is a growing national concern and Virginia is no different. Likely voters see this as a real problem.”

In addition to the presidential election, Virginia voters will see two constitutional amendments on their ballots. One amendment would put provisions of Virginia’s right-to-work law into the state constitution. Half of the poll respondents said they oppose the amendment because it would make it illegal for workplaces to require labor union membership for employment. 

A second proposed constitutional amendment on the Virginia ballot is meant to aid the families of first responders killed in the line of duty. It would allow local governments to exempt a surviving spouse’s property from taxation, a move that 82% of likely voters said they would support.

Immigration is another area where major differences between the nation’s two parties surface. Sixty-four percent of Democrats said that they strongly believe that the United States should not restrict immigration of Muslims to this country. On the Republican side, 54% said the nation strongly should, while 14% said the nation somewhat should.

According to Huffmon, “Trump made a ban on Muslim immigration a key talking point of his campaign. This is clearly something that splits the parties in Virginia, but while a majority of Republicans favor the ban, the sentiment is not universal with more than 1 in 5 saying they oppose such a ban.”

Meanwhile, half of the Republican respondents said they approve of the Tea Party movement. About one quarter of both Democrats and Republicans said they were not familiar enough with the movement to comment. Only six percent of all likely voters said they consider themselves part of the movement.

 

POLL FUNDING, METHODOLOGY AND CONTACT INFORMATION 

The Winthrop Poll is paid for by Winthrop University with additional support from The West Forum on Politics and Policy at Winthrop University. For additional information, or to set up an interview with Poll Director Scott Huffmon, please contact Judy Longshaw at longshawj@winthrop.edu or 803/323-2404 (office) or 803/984-0586 (cell).

 

November 2016 Winthrop Poll – Likely voters in Virginia

 

T1  Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President of the United States?

 

All Respondents

Democrats (including “Leaners”)

Republicans (including “Leaners”)

Approve

52

95

9

Disapprove

46

4

89

Don’t Know

1

1

2

Refused

1

--

0

 

T2  Do you approve or disapprove of the way Terry McAuliffe (Mac-CULL-uff) is handling his job as Governor of Virginia?

 

All Respondents

Democrats (including “Leaners”)

Republicans (including “Leaners”)

Approve

44

76

14

Disapprove

42

13

73

Don’t Know

12

12

12

Refused

2

--

1

 

T3  If the election for United States President were held today, who would you vote for if the candidates were:

         [NOTE: Names were rotated]

 

All Respondents

Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Candidate

44

Donald Trump, the Republican Candidate

39

Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Candidate

5

Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate

2

Evan McMullin, an Independent Candidate

2

Not Sure

4

Refused

3

 

T4  If the election for United States President were held today, who would you vote for if the only candidates were:

          [NOTE: Names were rotated]

 

All Respondents

Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Candidate

49

Donald Trump, the Republican Candidate

43

Would Not Vote [volunteered]

3

Not Sure

3

Refused

3

 

T5  Thinking about the current path that our nation is taking, do you think our country is on the right track or headed in the wrong direction?

 

All Respondents

Democrats (including “Leaners”)

Republicans (including “Leaners”)

Right Track                                                         

37

68

4

Wrong Direction

59

24

95

Don't Know/ Refused

5

8

1

 

T6  Thinking about the current path that the state of Virginia is taking, do you think Virginia is on the right track or headed in the wrong direction?

 

All Respondents

Democrats (including “Leaners”)

Republicans (including “Leaners”)

Right Track                                                         

49

74

21

Wrong Direction

41

17

68

Don't Know/ Refused

11

9

11

 

T7  What do you think is the most important problem facing the United States of America today? [Top 5 responses]       

Economy  15.3%

Politicians/Government  10.9%

Racism  8.4%

Jobs/Unemployment  7.1%

Terrorism  5.2%

 

T8  What do you think is the most important problem facing the state of Virginia today? [Top 5 responses]

Economy  14.6%

Education  11.7%

Jobs/Unemployment  10.5%

Politicians/Government  6.3%

Roads/Bridges/Infrastructure  6.0%

 

T9  How would you rate the condition of the economy of the country as a whole these days? Is it very good, fairly good, fairly bad, or very bad?

 

All Respondents

Very good                                                                      

4

Fairly good                                                                    

44

Fairly bad                                                                       

36

Very bad                                                                        

14

Not sure                                                                         

1

Refused

1

 

T10  How would you rate the condition of the economy of Virginia these days? Is it very good, fairly good, fairly bad, or very bad?     

 

All Respondents

Very good                                                                      

10

Fairly good                                                                    

51

Fairly bad                                                                       

28

Very bad                                                                        

7

Not sure                                                                         

4

Refused

1

 

T11  How would you rate your financial situation today? As excellent, good, only fair, or poor?

 

All Respondents

Excellent                                                                         

11

Good                                                                              

49

Only Fair                                                                          

30

Poor                                                                                

9

Not Sure                                                                          

0

Refused

1

 

 

  I’m going to read you a list of names of people or things.  For each person or thing, please tell me whether you have a generally favorable or generally unfavorable view of them.  If you are familiar with them, but undecided – or if you are unfamiliar with them – you can tell me that as well.

           [NOTE: the following three names were randomized]

T12  Hillary Clinton

 

All Respondents

Democrats (including “Leaners”)

Republicans (including “Leaners”)

Favorable

43

83

6

Unfavorable

52

12

93

Undecided

5

5

1

Not familiar enough

--

--

--

Refused

1

--

0

 

T13  Donald Trump

 

All Respondents

Democrats (including “Leaners”)

Republicans (including “Leaners”)

Favorable

33

1

68

Unfavorable

60

96

22

Undecided

6

2

10

Not familiar enough

0

1

--

Refused

1

0

0

 

T14  Terry McAuliffe

 

All Respondents

Democrats (including “Leaners”)

Republicans (including “Leaners”)

Favorable

42

76

11

Unfavorable

36

7

66

Undecided

11

7

13

Not familiar enough

11

10

9

Refused

1

0

1

 

T15  Do you feel that marijuana should, or should NOT, be legalized for medical purposes?

 

All Respondents

Should                                                                        

82

Should NOT                                                                

14

Not Sure                                                                       

3

Refused                                                                        

1

 

T16  Do you feel that marijuana should, or should NOT, be legalized for recreational purposes?

 

All Respondents

Should                                                                        

45

Should NOT                                                                

48

Not Sure                                                                       

6

Refused                                                                        

1

 

T17  Do you feel that the abuse of prescription drugs (such as pain medications, sleep aids, treatment for ADHD, et cetera) is, or is NOT, currently a problem in the area where you live?

 

All Respondents

is                                                                                     

69

is NOT                                                                             

18

Not sure                                                                           

13

Refused

1

 

T18  Do you support or oppose an amendment to the Virginia Constitution that would make it illegal for workplaces to require labor union membership for employees?

 

All Respondents

Support                                                                        

34

Oppose                                                                        

49

Not Sure                                                                       

15

Refused                                                                       

2

 

T19  Do you support or oppose an amendment to the Virginia Constitution that would provide certain property tax exemptions to surviving spouses of any law-enforcement officer, firefighter, search and rescue personnel, or emergency medical services personnel killed in the line of duty?

 

All Respondents

Support                                                                        

82

Oppose                                                                        

14

Not Sure                                                                       

3

Refused                                                                       

2

 

T20  Do you think the United States SHOULD or Should NOT restrict immigration of Muslim immigrants? Do you feel that way STRONGLY or SOMEWHAT?

 

All Respondents

Democrats (including “Leaners”)

Republicans (including “Leaners”)

Strongly Should                                                

29

7

54

Somewhat Should                                             

9

4

14

Somewhat Should NOT                                      

14

20

6

Strongly Should NOT                                         

40

64

15

Not sure                                                            

6

3

9

Refused

3

2

2

 

T21  In general, would you say you approve or disapprove of the Tea Party movement or are you not familiar enough with the Tea Party movement to have an opinion?

 

All Respondents

Republicans (including “Leaners”)

Approve                                                              

26

49

Disapprove                                                          

39

14

Not familiar enough

28

27

Not Sure                                                                

6

8

Refused                                                                

1

2

 

T22  Would you consider yourself a MEMBER of the Tea Party Movement?        

 

All Respondents

Republicans (including “Leaners”)

Yes

6

9

No

86

84

Not Sure                                                                  

8

6

Refused                                                                   

1

1

 

 T23 Partisanship

 

Leaners
as Independents

Leaners
as Partisans
(This is how party breakdowns are reported above)

Washington Post/ Schar School Poll for Comparison (Leaners as Independents)

Democrats

33

43

30

Independents

35

12

36

Republicans

26

39

24

Something Else

3

4

6

Don’t Know/Refused

2

2

5

 

T24 Would you say that your support for that candidate is solid, or that you might change your mind?

 

Clinton Supporters

Trump Supporters

Solid

94

91

Might Change Mind

6

9

Not Sure

--

--

Refused

--

--

 

 

 


 

 

For methodological questions please read the full Methodology Statement

 

See full methodology page for more info.

###

Contact Information:
Judy Longshaw
803/323-2402 (office)
803/984-0586 (cell)

The Winthrop Poll is paid for by Winthrop University with additional support from The West Forum on Politics and Policy at Winthrop University.

For additional information, or to set up an interview with Dr. Scott Huffmon, please contact Judy Longshaw at longshawj@winthrop.edu or 803/323-2404.

Note: Winthrop University, located in Rock Hill, S.C., is a nationally recognized public university offering graduate and undergraduate degrees to an inclusive, international student body.
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