POLL: President Obama leading Virginia, Gov. McDonnell won’t help Republicans

Posted at 7:01 AM, Mar 20, 2012
and last updated 2012-03-21 06:15:08-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – President Barack Obama leads all the Republican presidential candidates in Virginia according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released today.

President Obama now leads with a 50 – 42 percent margin over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. It is his largest lead so far in this election cycle.

“The poll shows that Romney and the Republicans have been hurt by the primary campaign,” said CBS 6 political analyst Dr. Bob Holsworth. “I would expect that the race would narrow once the GOP actually selects a nominee.”

Putting Gov. Bob McDonnell on the ticket as the GOP vice-presidential nominee does not help the Republicans carry the state according to the poll. In a match-up of President Obama and Vice President Biden against Romney and Gov. McDonnell, the Democrats are leading by a margin of 50 – 43 percent.

“It is surprising that Gov. McDonnell wouldn’t be more helpful to the Republican nominee in Virginia,” Dr. Holswoth said. “But it may reflect that vice presidents have very little impact on how people vote for President.”

With Gov. McDonnell’s presence on the GOP ticket, women still vote Democratic 51 – 40 percent while men split with 48 percent going Democratic and 46 percent Republican. Independent voters statistically tie, split between Democrat and Republican. according to the poll.

The poll showed President Obama leads 97 – 2 percent among Democrats and gets 46 percent of independent voters to Romney’s 43 percent.  Romney is ahead among Republicans 84 – 6 percent.

When pitted against the other Republican contenders, President Obama had even larger leads:

  • 54 – 35 percent over former House Speaker Newt Gingrich;
  • 49 – 40 percent over former Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum;
  • 49 – 39 percent over Texas U.S. Rep. Ron Paul.

In Virginia’s U.S. Senate race, Democrat Tim Kaine has a close lead to Republican George Allen, just 47 – 44 percent. That’s within the poll’s margin of error.

Both candidates in the Senate race get positive favorability ratings, 48 – 29 percent for Kaine and 41 – 26 percent for Allen, according to the poll.

In the match-up women back Kaine 49 – 40 percent while men go 48 percent for Allen and 46 percent for Kaine.  Independent voters also are in a statistical tie, with 45 percent for Allen and 43 percent for Kaine.

The results of the poll are based on surveys conducted by Quinnipiac University. From March 13 to 18 1,034 registered voters were surveyed with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points.