Obama lead disappears in Virginia
July 19th, 2012
08:08 AM ET
8 years ago

Obama lead disappears in Virginia

(CNN) - President Barack Obama's single digit lead over Mitt Romney in the crucial battleground state of Virginia has disappeared, according to a new poll.

The Quinnipiac University survey indicated Virginians split 44%-44% for the two presidential candidates. The race has tightened since March, when Obama led Romney 50%-42%, and the beginning of June, when Obama was ahead 47%-42%.

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Independent voters in the state are similarly split, with 40% saying they'd vote for Obama and 38% backing Romney.

"Virginia voters are sharply split along gender and political lines about the presidential race. The two candidates equally hold their own political bases and are splitting the key independent vote down the middle," Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, wrote in a statement accompanying the poll's release.

Virginia is shaping up to be a key battleground in November. Obama won the state by roughly five points in 2008, becoming the first Democrat to take the state in a presidential election since 1964, but it's considered a toss up in 2012. The commonwealth carries 13 electoral votes.

Obama made a campaign swing through Virginia at the end of last week, making stops in several of the state's distinctive regions. He began in Hampton Roads, in the southeastern part of the state, which has a heavy military presence and a large African-American population. He continued through to the capital, Richmond, and on to Roanoke, both situated in the central, more conservative part of the state.

Obama finished his tour in the northern Virginia exurbs, a part of the state that votes increasingly Democratic. Romney's last campaigned in Virginia in late June.

In Thursday's poll, voters gave Romney an edge on his handling of the economy, with 47% saying he would do a better job on improving the nation's economic health. But Obama's pledge to raise taxes on top earners is popular in Virginia, with 59% saying they support the measure.

A gender divide persists in Virginia, where Obama has the support of 46% of women, while Romney takes 46% of men. Fifty five percent of White voters in the Old Dominion State go for Romney, while African-Americans overwhelmingly support Obama over Romney, 88%-1%.

"Virginia voters are sharply split along gender and political lines about the presidential race. The two candidates equally hold their own political bases and are splitting the key independent vote down the middle," Brown wrote.

The race for U.S. Senate in Virginia is also knotted up, with voters split nearly evenly between Republican George Allen, a former governor and senator from the state, and Tim Kaine, a former governor and chairman of the Democratic National Committee. The poll indicated Allen at 46% and Kaine at 44%.

The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted by telephone from 1,673 registered voters between July 10-16. The sampling error was plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.

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Filed under: Mitt Romney • Polls • President Obama • Virginia
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. deltapa

    Why does the Tea Party, that is supposedly full of patriots, support Romney who hid in France, while brave soldiers died in Vietnam?

    Romney avoided military service at the height of the fighting after high school by seeking and receiving four draft deferments, according to Selective Service records. They included college deferments and a 31-month stretch as a "minister of religion" in France, a classification for Mormon missionaries that the church at the time feared was being overused.

    July 19, 2012 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  2. Romney show your taxes

    Who care what the polls say. November votes that count. Romney going to lose by landslide.

    July 19, 2012 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  3. Al-NY,NY

    Obama taking Ohio makes this a "who cares" moment. The progressive north and the hillbilly south/west will make their decision. Winning this would only make it a sweeter rout of the finger in the wind candidate who doesn't have a clear vision on ANY issue. he only says "Obama bad, me good"

    July 19, 2012 08:27 am at 8:27 am |

    Virginia is Obama Country!!!

    July 19, 2012 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  5. Stuffit

    The lead should disappear. While the dunderhead has played 101 rounds of golf, stolen trillions of dollars to give to the welfare frauds, dope addicts and corrupt union bosses and been to over 100 fund raisers, he has met with he has not met with his jobs council once and totally ignored the recommendations of the committtee he appointed to deal with death, is this incompetency, ineptness, corruption? He has viciiously and unrelentingly attacked those of us who actually work and pay taxes though.

    July 19, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  6. Gurgyl

    VA do not be ridiculous, GOP is a CULT. Bans SS, Medicare, healthcare. Watch my word. Yes, on Obama12.

    July 19, 2012 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  7. Thomas

    Instead of R v D debates, what are actually the usual go to unbiased (either way) polls to look at?

    July 19, 2012 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  8. Michael Q

    Another Thursday. Another poll. He's ahead. He's behind. It is sad the USA believes so much in daily polls based on 1000 or so people supposedly picked at random and asked a supposedly neutral question. But, I guess it pays the bills and keeps the ratings going. I often think of all the people who would be out of work if polling, and the electoral process was changed to match other free countries' short term electoral process. Any Romney has the nerve to suggest the government is not responsible for creating jobs?

    July 19, 2012 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  9. rla

    Wow the Obama lead is disappearing before the conventions???? Guess all that class warfare , economic slight of hand, the hand outs and distortions has turned off the electorate??? We need someone like Romney who can recognize a problem and fix it , who has a record of success at various jobs and has led a personal straight arrow life. TIME TO MOVE ON!

    July 19, 2012 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  10. 23 from Texas

    Stop polling registered voters!!! Likely voters are the only ones that matter! Give us reall news CNN!

    July 19, 2012 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  11. n

    Frightened and Arrogant white males clinging to the lie of them being the superior ones, Now in a panic state of their rude awakening, run to Romney's rescue for fear of their own extinction. A middle glass vote for Romney is a vote against your country and your interest. Period.

    July 19, 2012 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  12. A Kickin` Donkey

    Virginia women need only look at the GOP`s behavior under their Republican Governor McDonnell [aka Governor "Ultrasound"] to know what voting for Mitt Romney would mean for them.

    This indicator goes beyond the subject of abortion, It speaks to how the GOP would dictate every aspect of their lises . . . . Republican BIG Government.

    July 19, 2012 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  13. Sarah/Dumfries,VA

    Obama will still win VA,African-Americans we are ready more than ever

    July 19, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  14. Thomas

    Neither party should take VA for granted.

    July 19, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  15. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    There are several reasons for this. I believe that Romney and allies (Koch brothers etc) have been saturating the air waves with negative Obama commercials. The other is that I don't think that the same people or demographics have been polled. If the same people were polled to see their change, that could be a better indicator. How many in the way of commercials have the Obama campaign and allies put up? That is another major factor. It will change again as we get closer to the election.

    July 19, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  16. Gurgyl

    Mittens is a joke to USA and world with Iran-war.

    July 19, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  17. ST

    Did they poll the same people as they did last time? The answer is A BIG NO. They have polled different people and of course with different thinking. How can anyone make the comparison? It is about confusing people and in the end we will hear the polls were wrong.

    July 19, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  18. The Voice of Reason

    “When people need good jobs you would think the president would focus all of his energy and his passion on helping people get jobs,” Mr. Romney said. “In the last six months he has held 100 fundraisers and guess how many meetings he has had with his jobs council? None. Zero. Zero in the last six months, so it makes it very clear where his priorities are.”

    July 19, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  19. CanadaONE

    Virginia why would anyone one vote GOP -, LEARN THE FACTS that got us into this economic mess

    These facts will help you change your mind
    1.What caused the recession –to answer this question you have to look at Income. In the nineteen twenties at the start of the depression 24% of all income resided with just 1% of the population in the US. If you go back to pre-2008 you will find the same high number 24% of the income was going to just 1% of the population .
    2.So how is this linked to a recession – when more of the population has money – they spend more and more business benefit – if it goes to the rich i.e. 1 % they spent less and usually overseas – check the Romney taxes
    3.When the income spread occurs more widely through the middle class the economy does better – check the 1980 and 90s
    Bush helped exacerbate this problem by giving the 1% a tax break and putting more money in their pockets than the middle class which exacerbated the recession.
    Romney is the recession – he is the 1% that made more but spent less in the USA in fact he put his money into foreign tax havens. So if Romney and Bush represent the GOP – the GOP stands for RECESSION

    The truth hurts but a VOTE for the GOP is a vote for more and deeper RECESSION

    Check the INCOME % facts and you will see what I mean.

    Canada has and better recovery because we taxed the 1% and invested in the working person – Europe did what the |GOP did

    July 19, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |