Tags: Polls | ed gillespie | poll | virginia | governor race

Republican Up in Va. Governor Race as Dem Fails to Make Trump an Issue

Image: Republican Up in Va. Governor Race as Dem Fails to Make Trump an Issue
Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie (Andre Teague/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 18 October 2017 09:49 AM

Republican Ed Gillespie is gaining strength in the campaign for governor of Virginia, a race Democrats are trying to make a referendum on President Donald Trump, according to a new poll by Monmouth University.

He has moved to a one-point lead over Democrat Ralph Northam after trailing the current lieutenant governor by five points in Monmouth’s September poll.

Here are the key findings:

  • Overall: Gillespie 48 percent; Northam 47.
  • On jobs: Gillespie 35 percent; Northam 27.
  • On crime: Gillespie 40; Northam 24.
  • On healthcare: Northam 42; Gillespie 32.
  • On education: Northam 39; Gillespie 28.

The poll also has libertarian candidate Cliff Hyra with 3 percent of the vote and another 3 percent undecided.

The Monmouth poll has never shown either candidate with more than a five-point lead, according to Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute who conducted the survey of 408 Virginia residents. The poll has a margin of error of 4.9 percent.

Either candidate "has a very real shot at winning this thing," Murrary said.

Gillespie is emphasizing the crime issue, accusing Northam of being soft on the violent MS-13 illegal immigrant gang. Northam is trying to tie Gilespie, a traditional Republican, to Trump.

But so far, Trump has not been a big factor, Murray said.

"It is difficult to tease out a specific Trump effect from all the other considerations Virginians make in deciding how to vote in this race," he said.

Virginia, once reliably conservative, is now a swing state. Former President Barack Obama carried the Old Dominion in both of his races. Virginia was the only southern state Hillary Clinton won.

Obama plans to campaign for Northam in the state capital of Richmond Thursday night. Former President George W. Bush held private fundraisers for Gillespie on Monday.

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Republican Ed Gillespie is gaining strength in the campaign for governor of Virginia, a race Democrats are trying to make a referendum on President Donald Trump, according to a new poll by Monmouth University.
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2017-49-18
Wednesday, 18 October 2017 09:49 AM
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