September 16, 2012
Obama up 5 in Virginia
PPP's newest Virginia poll finds Barack Obama leading by 5 points, 51-46. Obama's lead is unchanged from a month ago when we found him leading 50-45 in the state. He may not be seeing a bump from the convention in the state at this point, but he was in a pretty good position to begin with.
Virginia continues to look like it may be something of a firewall state for Obama. PPP has now polled it 9 times this cycle, and President Obama has led by at least 4 points on all 9 of the polls. He's been ahead by 5 points, 5 points, 8 points, and 8 points over the course of the four surveys we've conducted in 2012.
Obama has a slight advantage over Romney (49-47) in terms of who voters trust more on the economy and a wider (51-45) edge over Romney on foreign policy. Only 41% of voters say they approve of how Romney reacted to the situation in Libya this week while 48% express disapproval.
Obama's leading 56-42 with women, 91-7 with African Americans, 63-30 with other non-white voters, and 56-37 with young voters. Romney has a 51-45 advantage with men, a 57-40 one with whites, and a 54-43 lead with seniors. Romney is slightly ahead with independents, 47-45, but Obama's party is more unified with Democrats supporting him 95-4 while Republicans go for Romney by a slightly weaker 92-7 margin.
One thing playing to Democrats' advantage in Virginia is that their voters are actually more excited than Republicans about the election now, contrary to the conventional wisdom for most of this cycle. 73% of Democrats say they're 'very excited' about voting this fall compared to 63% of GOP voters. Women (64%) are more enthusiastic about voting than men (60%), African Americans (85%) are more excited than white voters (57%), and young voters (72%) are more excited than seniors (62%). Republicans can't count on winning back Virginia just by the Obama base staying home because it's still pretty enthusiastic.
There has been a lot of talk about the possibility of Virgil Goode tipping the election to Obama in Virginia but our new poll finds that his support has mostly faded. When third party candidates are included on this poll Obama leads Romney 49-45 with Gary Johnson at 2% and Goode and Jill Stein both at just 1%. Goode's net favorability with Republican voters has dropped a net 15 points in the last month from +3 (19/16) to -12 (14/26), suggesting that many of the party faithful are not happy about the possibility of him having a spoiler effect.
Two other notes:
-Virginians narrowly approve of Obama (50/48) and narrowly have an unfavorable opinion of Romney (47/49).
-By a 50/43 margin voters in the state think Romney should release 12 years of his tax returns.