Free Lance-Star reporter Chelyen Davis covers Virginia government.
Romney, Obama deadlocked in Va in new poll
A new poll out this morning from Quinnipiac University indicates that Republican Mitt Romney is making gains on President Barack Obama, at least in Virginia.
Earlier polls in March and June show Obama with a lead in the state. But this round of polling puts the two candidates in a dead heat, at 44 percent each.
Quinnipiac University Polling Institute assistant director Peter Brown said both Obama and Romney have their own bases locked up, and have split independents “down the middle.” Brown said the poll results show a deeply divided electorate along gender and partisan lines. Obama leads with women, Romney with men; Romney leads with white voters, Obama with black voters; and more than 90 percent of those polled from each political party are backing their party’s candidate. Obama took 40 percent among independent voters in the poll, while Romney had 38 percent.
Brown said voters have a slightly more favorable opinion of Obama than they do of Romney, but neither is hugely popular. Fifty-one percent of those polled disapproved of the job Obama is doing in office, and 50 percent said he doesn’t deserve a second term.
Those voters polled said they thought Romney would do better on the economy (47 percent) but a majority (59 percent) said they support Obama’s push to raise income taxes on those earning more than $250,000 a year. Among those polled who actually make more than $250,000 a year, support is less — 48 percent support, 51 percent oppose.
In Virginia’s hot U.S Senate race, this poll echoes those of the past year — Republican George Allen and Democrat Tim Kaine are neck-and-neck.
This one gives Allen 46 percent to Kaine’s 44 percent; within the poll’s plus-or-minus 2.4 percent margin of error. Brown said neither candidate has managed a lead larger than the margin of error in the past year of polling.
Most of those polled said their Senate vote would not be influenced by their vote for president.
The Virginians polled were split, 47 to 47, on the Supreme Court’s recent ruling upholding the bulk of Obama’s federal health care law. But slightly more of them, 50 percent to 43 percent, think Congress should repeal the law.
The poll surveyed 1,673 registered voters by landline and cell phone between July 10 and 16.