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A Survey of 800 Likely Voters - Virginia, Statewide - Sep. 28 - Oct. 2, 2016

A post-debate surge puts the Democratic Presidential ticket of Clinton and Kaine 12 points ahead of Republican Candidates Donald Trump and Mike Pence, according to a Hampton University poll released today.

When Virginians were asked if the election were held today, 46% of those surveyed would vote for Hillary Clinton and 34% would choose Donald Trump, while a high percentage of voters remain undecided (20%). This is a striking difference from just one month ago where Clinton lead Trump by only two points, in what amounted to a statistical tie (CPP poll, August 2016 - Clinton 43%, Trump 41%). And there are wide disparities of support for the candidates as it relates to gender, race and party affiliation.

And while 83% of those polled watched the first Presidential debate, when asked which candidate "won", 60% picked Hillary Clinton as the winner over Donald Trump (18%) with 18% agreeing that neither candidate won the debate.

Most Virginians polled feel that the health of each presidential candidate should not be an issue in the campaign, but strongly believe that involvement with personal foundations are a conflict of interest. Both candidates continue to be shackled to high Unfavorable ratings, but Clinton holds steady at 54% while Trump's numbers went up seven points to 62% from a CPP poll conducted just one month ago.

The poll was conducted by the Hampton University Center for Public Policy (CPP) from September 28-October 2, 2016 and included 800 registered voters who said they were "likely" to vote on November 8, 2016 in the Virginia General Election.

"While every poll is a snapshot in time, the results of this poll are the result of a perfect storm of events in our nation at the time the poll was conducted: domestic terrorist attacks in New York and Minnesota, the first Presidential debate of the election cycle, the fallout and aftermath of that debate, including the controversy concerning a former beauty queen, and, an endorsement by a highly respected former GOP Virginia Senator in favor of the democratic ticket of Clinton and Kaine. Our poll numbers reflect all of those elements" said Kelly Harvey-Viney, director of the Hampton University Center for Public Policy.

The Presidential Candidates

The Democratic ticket of Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine (46%) has increased its edge over the Republican ticket of Donald Trump and Mike Pence (34%) while a great number of likely Virginia voters remain undecided (20%). Those that are undecided are up 4% over the last poll conducted by the CPP in August.

Q4. If the election were held today, for whom would you vote:

The Democratic ticket of Hillary Clinton & Tim Kaine 46%
The Republican ticket of Donald Trump & Mike Pence 34%
Don’t Know/Refused 20%
TOTAL 100%

It is not surprising that more women (52%) support Clinton than men (39%) as her candidacy for President is an historic one. Also no surprise that more men (40%) support Trump than do women (29%).

The disparities continue by race too. More Blacks (88%) and Hispanics (56%) support the Democratic ticket of Clinton and Kaine than whites (34%), and more whites (44%) support the Republican ticket of Trump and Pence than Blacks (2%) and Hispanics (12%).

Party identification and candidate support was a surprising result of this poll. Those surveyed who identify as a Democrat overwhelmingly (91%) throw support behind the Clinton-Kaine Democratic ticket. While 78% of those respondents who identify as Republican support the Republican ticket of Trump and Pence. Virginians who identified as Independent, lean more toward the Democratic ticket (36%), and just as many (33%) claimed they did not know for whom they would vote, leaving Virginia in play as a swing state for the Presidential election.

Q4. If the election were held today, for whom would you vote:

Male Female Black White Hispanic Democrat Republican Independent/Other
(D) Clinton & Kaine 39% 52% 88% 34% 56% 91% 7% 36%
(R) Trump & Pence 40% 29% 2% 44% 12% 3% 78% 31%
Don't Know /Refused 21% 19% 10% 22% 31 6% 16% 33%

Campaign Controversies

Most Virginians believe that Clinton's involvement (49%) and Trump's involvement (47%) with their personal foundations is a conflict of interest for a presidential candidate.

However, Virginians differ in how they feel about the health of the candidate being an issue in the presidential campaign. A clear majority (57%) do not feel Hillary Clinton's health should be an issue (41% responded it should be an issue). When asked if the health of Donald Trump should be an issue, only 42% responded no, and 47% said 'yes' it should be an issue in the campaign.

Issues of Importance to Virginians

Between the presidential candidates, more Virginians now see Hillary Clinton as having the better plan for the country's economy, with 49% choosing her plan compared to 42% choosing Donald Trump's plan. This is a reversal of position since the last CPP poll conducted in August where Virginians responded that it was Trump that had a better plan for the economy.

Q14. Which presidential candidate do you think has a better plan for our country’s economy?

July 2016 August 2016 September 2016
Donald Trump 46.9% 46% 42%
Hillary Clinton 41.3% 45% 49%
Don’t Know/Refused 11.8% 9% 9%
TOTAL 100

The economy was also at the top of the list once again as the one issue that should be a priority of the next President of the United States, no matter who it is. At 56%, Virginians responded that improving the economy and creating jobs is paramount for the next presidential administration.

Q5. Please tell me which one issue on this list should be the top priority of the next President of the United States, no matter who it is.

February 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016
Working to improve the Economy and create jobs 47.8% 42.1% 52% 56%
Terrorism 17% 23.9% 18% 17%
Healthcare 15% 9.8% 16% 11%
Size of Government 8.8% 9% 5% 6%
Immigration 7.6% 9.5% 4% 6%
Don't Know/Refused 3.8% 5.7% 4% 5%

Following highly publicized terrorist attacks around the country in September, nearly half of those surveyed (49%) believe Hillary Clinton is the candidate that would be more effective in fighting terrorism, compared to 44% who named Donald Trump as the more effective candidate in this area.

Q15. With an increase in terrorist acts in the United States, which candidate do you think would be more effective in fighting terrorism both domestically and abroad?

September 2016
Donald Trump 44%
Hillary Clinton 49%
Don’t Know/Refused 7%
TOTAL 100

The first Presidential debate of the campaign cycle and various news making events around the country had a major impact on this poll and its results. From candidate performance during the debate to constituent criticism following the debate, and from domestic terrorism to bipartisan endorsements, Virginians opinions captured in this poll are reflective of a confluence of reality and politics.

Methodology:

The statewide survey was conducted by a professional call center (SSRS) for the Hampton University Center for Public Policy under the general direction of Kelly Harvey-Viney, J.D.

SSRS fielded a survey of likely voters in Virginia (persons living in the State who are registered to vote and said they are almost certain or very likely to vote in the next election).

Live interviews were conducted by telephone from September 28-October 2, 2016. The sample was attained from the registered voter list for Virginia. The data was weighted to reflect the voter registration population of Virginia ages 18 years of age and older. This weighting combined with rounding is responsible for percentages not always equaling exactly 100%.

The sample is also weighted to reflect the distribution of phone usage for registered voters of Virginia (ie: cell phone only, landline only, and mixed users). Following application of the weights, the sample is post-stratified and balanced by key demographics such as age, race, sex, education, marital status, and party affiliation.

A total of 801 interviews were conducted; 402 using Landline sample and 399 using Cell sample.

The margin of error for the survey is +/- 4.37% for the full sample.