It has thirteen votes in the Electoral College, it has voted in the past two elections (2008, 2012) for the presidential nominee from the Democratic Party, and in the two elections prior to that (2000, 2004), it was the presidential nominee from the Republican Party who prevailed.
The state is Virginia and it is up for grabs in the 2016 American presidential election.
The most recent poll from that state shows a 9-point lead for Hillary Clinton, the presidential nominee for the Democratic Party.
On April 7, Christopher Newport University’s Judy Ford Wason Center for Public Policy released this survey (full results here) showing Clinton with a 44-35 lead over Donald Trump, the presidential nominee for the Republican Party. The poll asked 1,167 registered voters in Virginia and the margin of error was 3.4 percentage points. Even accounting for the margin of error, Clinton still wins in this survey by a 40.9-38.1 margin.
In this particular survey, Trump does better among Independent voters (36-26 over Clinton) and male voters (43-37 over Clinton).
The strong demographics for Clinton are women voters (52-29 over Trump) and voters between the ages of 18-34 (50-28 over Trump).
However, there is a huge flashing warning light for Trump and it is so strong that the authors of the survey make this comment:
A Trump general election candidacy would be in trouble in Virginia, with almost a third of likely Republican voters (29%) saying they would defect. In contrast, 90% of likely Democratic voters say they would stick with Clinton if she becomes the party’s nominee.
The details of this huge flashing warning light are as follows. In the survey, the 453 respondents who said that they had voted in the March 2016 Republican primary in Virginia were asked that if Donald Trump becomes the party’s nominee would they “definitely vote” for Trump, “probably vote” for Trump, “vote for the other party’s candidate”, or “vote for a 3rd party candidate.” Only two-thirds (67%) said they would vote for Trump (43% said “definitely”, 24% said “probably”). Over a quarter (26%) said that they would either vote for the other party’s candidate (13%) or vote for a third-party candidate (13%).
The director of the Wason Center called this a “loyalty gap” for Donald Trump.
Over on the Democratic side, the 344 respondents who said that they had voted in the March 2016 Democratic primary in Virginia were asked that same question about Hillary Clinton. Nine out of ten (90%) answered they would vote for Clinton (67% “definitely”, 23% “probably). Only 7% said they would cast their vote for someone else (4% for the other party’s candidate, 3% for a third-party candidate).
If this “loyalty gap” holds up, Trump is starting his 2016 presidential run in Virginia at a distinct disadvantage with 26% (give or take) of his potential voters saying they will cast their ballot for another candidate.