Obama leads GOP in battleground Virginia
March 20th, 2012
08:20 AM ET
10 years ago

Obama leads GOP in battleground Virginia

(CNN) – A survey released Tuesday delivered good news for President Barack Obama in Virginia, a large battleground state he won in 2008 and hopes to win again in November’s general election.

The poll from Quinnipiac University showed Obama leading all of the potential GOP candidates by at least eight points, including current frontrunner Mitt Romney, who Obama led 50%-42%. The president was ahead of Rick Santorum 49%-40%, Newt Gingrich 54%-35% and Ron Paul 49%-39%.

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Both Gingrich and Santorum have lived in Virginia’s Washington suburbs since leaving the U.S. Congress.

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who is frequently mentioned as a potential GOP running mate, doesn’t make a significant impact on any of the candidates’ numbers in the state. When placed on a potential ticket with Romney, the Obama-Biden team still came out ahead, topping Romney-McDonnell 50%-43%.

"President Barack Obama has opened up some daylight in Virginia against his Republican challengers," Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a statement accompanying the poll’s release. "His margin over Romney, in the state where Obama has been struggling after his win in 2008, compares to a slight 47 – 43 percent lead in February."

Romney won Virginia’s GOP presidential primary on Super Tuesday with an estimated 60% of the vote, though rivals candidates Santorum and Gingrich did not appear on the ballot there after failing to meet state GOP requirements.

Obama's approval in Virginia stood at 49%, according to the poll. That was his best rating in the Commonwealth in almost a year.

Virginia’s closely-watched U.S. Senate race stood at a statistical tie in the new poll, with Democrat Tim Kaine at 47% and Republican George Allen at 44%. That was within the poll’s sampling error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. A gender split was apparent in the Senate matchup, with women backing Kaine 49%-40% and men picking Allen 48%-46%.

"Virginia's U.S. Senate race has been too-close-to-call from the get-go," Brown said in the release. "It remains a squeaker and is likely to remain that way until the November election. An Obama victory in the presidential race would help Kaine, while if the Republican carries the state in November that would help Allen."

Kaine is a former governor of Virginia and served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2009-2011. Allen served as a U.S. senator from Virginia before being defeated by Democratic Sen. Jim Webb in 2006.

The Quinnipiac University poll was taken by phone March 13-18 from 1,034 registered Virginia voters, and had a sampling error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama • Virginia
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Four and The Door

    Obama will lose more than 8% through the debates with Mitt Romney. He had better raise a few hundred million dollars, maybe do a full length feature propaganda film.

    March 20, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  2. jacq

    Lets hear the republican spin on this one

    March 20, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  3. John

    Polls; what a waste of time; any Republican candidate would easily beat Obama in 2012. I’m guessing that’s a fact that the voters in Virginia knew but the pollsters’ missed. In 2008; Obama was the first Democrat to win Virginia since 1964. In 2011 every Republican incumbent in the Virginia state House and Senate won; only the second time since the Civil War. In November the American voters will clean up Washington based on Obama and the Democrats record in Congress since 2007.

    March 20, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  4. The-Least-Unelectable

    First, "Obama made the recession worse"

    Later, "Obama isn't improving the economy fast enough."

    Next, "Obama is improving the economy too quickly.

    March 20, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  5. tigerakabj

    Not good enough. I want to see 65-35% at the very least, especially with head-to-head against Romney.

    Romney just said two days ago that President Obama is "assaulting freedom" and "made the recession last longer." With lies like that, I want to see President Obama wipe the floor with Mittens coast-to-coast in big numbers. Romney has only gotten this far because his opponents are so inept and don't have the resources to fight back. Please believe he won't have the same advantage when facing President Obama.

    Obama/Biden/E.Warren 2012

    March 20, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  6. rhumba

    McDonnell doesn't make a significant impact on the ballot because most Virginians don't like him.

    March 20, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  7. frag

    And he hasn't even started to campaign yet!

    March 20, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  8. Big George in Big D

    Too many people stuck on stupid in that state!

    March 20, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  9. diridi

    Any one who has head will vote for this dude. true. Watch on youtube, the road we have traveled. you think.

    March 20, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  10. YOU Decide 2012: A country where 1% have all the money or a country with thriving middle class

    Could this be because the ignorant governor is requiring women to get a transvaginal ultrasound before getting abortion?

    March 20, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  11. FLIndependent

    Once the Repub nominee is set more people will start paying attention and the President will widen the gap. The vast majority of voters still remember what the Bush years were like and will NOT go back there. These past 3 1/2 years all we are hearing are the very loud anti-Obama voices, but it will be the silent majority that will give him another 4 years.

    March 20, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  12. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Quinnipiac polls are notoriously inaccurate. I'll believe it if there are 2-3 other polls that show similar results. I'm sure Obama has a lot of government union worker support and I'll bet most of them live in Virginia. So if the polling was done within commuting distance of DC then this would obviously be slanted towards Obama.

    March 20, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  13. Howard

    Americans are tired of always ending up between Barock and a hard place !!!

    March 20, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  14. Rudy NYC

    Four and The Door wrote on page 1:

    Obama will lose more than 8% through the debates with Mitt Romney.
    So what if he does. By the time presidential debates get here Obama will be up by a double double in percentage points. Republicans are imploding.

    March 20, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  15. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    diridi - Any one who has head will vote for this dude. true. Watch on youtube, the road we have traveled. you think
    At 8.3% unemployment and sky rocketing fod and fuel prices, the whole country is far more concern about the Obama DITCH we're stuck in and can't get out of with his socialist policies.

    March 20, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  16. Moderate Sean

    I must say...though not a resident of Virginia, I do work there, and in recent weaks I have seen quite a few cars sporting "Obama 2012" bumper stickers. And I mean to say quite a few too....Northern VA, the Richmond area, Charlottesville, parts of the Tidewater, and I even think a few areas of VA's western coal country (Vote for the known quantity over their dislike of a Mormon Candiate, that region tends to be Moderate to Conservative Democrats) willl go fairly strong for President Obama in 2012. The typical staunch sparsely populated conservative areas in the Center of the State will vote Rethugican, but they always do! Nice to see my birth state changing from red, to purple. Soon enough it will be blue!!

    March 20, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  17. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    The republican candidates are a lot like an over ripe port – o – potti. Pretty much full of it.

    March 20, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    When Mitt Romney speaks about "economic freedom" that is coded language for "greed."

    March 20, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  19. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    As for gas prices, doesn't Mittens need to explain how his plan for government to get into the free market oil futures is not another example of republican socialism? That and his redistribution of wealth to the upper 1% make him pretty scary.

    March 20, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  20. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Bush republican economics left us on the edge of a great depression, and now the right wingnuts say that was only a 'ditch.' Are all right wingnuts on meth and mountain dew?

    March 20, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  21. MTATL67

    These polls are all over the place. That tells me one thing. That the poll takers are asking a certain demographic either pro or con for their political views....yes that applies to the new organizations.

    March 20, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  22. Wake up people

    Mittens couldn't beat President Obama in a debate if he were wearing boxing gloves. Mittens is a self absorbed, thinks he is entitled idiot. I thought little Bush was an idiot, well Mittens makes him look like a Rhodes scholar. President Obama is going to use Mittens as toilet paper.


    March 20, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  23. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    Obama is not only going to sweep and mop the floor with Mittens, but he's going to use what's left to clean the blinds.
    Polls schmolls!
    Vote America. Vote Obama.

    March 20, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  24. Four and The Door

    Rudy NYC
    When Mitt Romney speaks about "economic freedom" that is coded language for "greed."
    Yeah. It's greed when you want to put people back to work. I suppose you feel much better having federal, state and business tax dollars paying people unemployment for 99 weeks. That's what Obama brings to the economy.

    March 20, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  25. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Obamacare is now projected to cost TWICE as much as they claimed it would. Actual costs probably 3-4 times initial estimates (if we're lucky)

    Worse case scenario is that 24 MILLION people could lose their healtchcare and be forced into exchanges or governent plans.

    Millions of Obama union supports have now been given waivers.

    Long term care portion has been deemed unworkable. This was supposed to provide huge cost savings.

    Obamacare trampling individual rights as well as relgious freedoms.

    Yet the President ignores "his greatest achievement"! I wonder why??!!!

    March 20, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
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