Gravis Marketing released a poll in May (1,728 registered voters, margin of error 2 percentage points, results here) documenting the presidential preference of the citizens of Virginia. These latest results show the presidential candidate from the Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton, defeating her opponent, the presidential candidate from the Republican Party, Donald Trump, by four percentage point (45%-41%).
Gravis, in the report that I link to, does not provide a breakdown of which demographics voted for which candidate so I cannot pontificate on how well Clinton did among older female voters (or not) or how well Trump did with younger male voters (or not).
What I can say is that since the start of the year, the overall support for the Republican Party candidate has increased.
In January, Roanoke College released a poll (previously mentioned here in this post) showed Trump only garnering 35% of the vote with Clinton taking a majority (52%) of the respondent’s preference.
In April, Christopher Newport University released a poll (previously mentioned here in this post) that still showed Trump at 35% of the vote while Clinton’s share declined to 44%.
A month later, and after Trump’s win in the Indiana Republican Party primary which saw his two main opponents (Ted Cruz, John Kaisch) drop out of the race leaving Trump the last person standing in the Republican Party presidential race, Trump increased his share of the vote in Virginia 3 percentage points to 38% in a Roanoke College survey (previously mentioned here in this post) showing a 38%-38% tie between himself and Clinton.
Later in May (and the title of today’s post), the most recent survey from Gravis shows Virginia’s support for the Republican Party presidential candidate surpassing the 40% (albeit to 41%) mark.
Granted, Clinton still wins and with the margin of error, her victory in the Gravis survey is nearly decisive, but my first point with this particular post is to show a possible trend of Trump’s share of the vote increasing among Virginia voters keeping the Old Dominion squarely in the realm of tossup states. As always, more polls will be needed to see if this is indeed a trend, but the fact remains that over four polls since the start of 2016, Donald Trump has seen his support rise 6 percentage points while his opponent has seen her share of the Virginia vote decline by 7 percentage points.
However, Trump’s share of support could suffer if a third option is available in the Old Dominion.
In the Gravis survey, respondents were asked who they would vote for in a hypothetical three-person contest between Trump, Clinton, and the Libertarian Party presidential candidate, Gary Johnson. When that question was asked, Clinton wins 44% of the vote (-1 percentage point from her result in the two-way contest), Trump now only wins 38% (-3), and Johnson takes home 6% of the vote, with 12% still undecided. As only two percent of previously undecided voters (from the 45%-41% two-person question) moved to Johnson and only a single percentage point moved from Clinton to Johnson, half of those who said they would vote Libertarian came from those who had said they would support the Republican in the two-way race.