President Barack Obama still leads GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney in the latest Quinnipiac poll in Virginia -- the first since the Massachusetts governor clinched the Republican nomination in late May.
Obama leads Romney by five points, 47-42. The survey also found that if Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell were to be Romney’s running mate, the five-point deficit would not be affected. Should McDonnell be the vice presidential nominee, the Democratic ticket of Obama/Biden would beat the Republican ticket of Romney/McDonnell, 48-43.
It’s not all bad news in the GOP camp though. In a March 20 survey by Quinnipiac, Obama led Romney 50-42.
President Obama recently endorsed same-sex marriage, while Romney continues to be against it. How does that play out in Virginia? The latest poll numbers show that Virginia voters oppose same-sex marriage 49-42 percent. However, only 25 percent of them listed it as being a deciding factor of how they will vote. Twenty-four percent said Obama’s support for same-sex marriage would make them less likely to vote for him while 14 percent said it would make them more likely to vote for Obama. Another 60 percent said it wouldn’t affect their vote.
Although Virginia voters overall oppose same-sex marriage by 7 percent, 55 percent of them said in the poll that Obama would do a better job than Romney on same-sex marriage. Twenty-one percent of voters said they are more likely to vote for Romney because of his opposition to same-sex marriage, while 23 percent said they were less likely to vote for him. Fifty-three percent say it will not affect their vote.
The more significant results had to do with the gender of voters.
“Often when Republicans win, they use a solid lead among men and narrow their loss among women,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
Obama currently has a large lead among women voters in Virginia, 50-35 percent, and a small deficit among men, 49-44 percent.
“For Romney to take the lead he will need to reverse the gender gap, " Brown said. "The only question will be which side harnesses [the gender gap] for their benefit. Currently the President is winning that battle.”
Among Democrats, Obama has a commanding lead, 90-4 percent, and among Republicans, Romney has an equally strong lead, 91-6.
However, among independent voters Obama has a sizable lead, 45-37 percent.
It would be expected that Obama, being a Democrat, would have strong representation among younger voters, but a 63-23 percent lead among voters under 35 years old is a much larger lead than Romney holds among voters over 54 years old (49-41 percent), a group that traditionally favors the Republican candidate. In the 35-54 year old bracket, there is an even split, 45-45, between the Democrat and Republican.
Among Virginia voters there is an even split about Obama’s performance during his last term. Forty-eight percent approve of him, compared to 47 percent who don’t. Forty-nine percent think he deserves a second term, while 47 don’t. Fifty percent have a favorable opinion of him, compared to only 44 that don’t. However a whopping 80 percent of people polled say that he is a generally likeable person, compared with only 16 percent that don’t feel that way.
Romney has a similar favorability rating, 39-37 percent, but is far less likeable. Only 60 percent of respondents rated him as a likeable person, whereas 28 percent said he wasn’t.
In terms of the economy, voters are split 46-44 in favor of Romney.
The survey was conducted by Quinnipiac University between May 30 and June 4 and had 1,282 respondents. There is a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percent.