Northam Leads Gillespie By Seven Points in New Roanoke College Poll

Aug 22, 2017

Democrat Ralph Northam (left), Republican Ed Gillespie (right).
Credit AP Photo / Steve Helber

The race for governor is about to gear up heading into the fall. And a new poll from Roanoke College shows one candidate with a significant lead.

Democrat Ralph Northam is leading Republican Ed Gillespie in the race for governor by seven percentage points, 43% to 36%. But a plurality of voters say they don’t know enough about Gillespie to have an opinion about him. And a majority say they don’t know enough about Northam. Harry Wilson at Roanoke College says Northam has a clear lead, but he warns it’s still early.

“There are a significant number of people who are undecided. And there are a whole lot of people, when we ask favorable or unfavorable of both of the candidates, who say they don’t know enough about them to have an opinion.”

Quentin Kidd at Christopher Newport University wonders if some people are just on news overload.

“I wonder how much of what is going on in Washington, the overwhelming news in Washington in the middle of the summer has not caused some people to tune out of politics generally over the summer.”

The Roanoke College poll was conducted the week after the violence in Charlottesville violence, and it has a margin of error of plus or minus four points.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association