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A Survey of 741 Likely Voters - VA Governor's Primary Poll - Virginia, Statewide - June 1-6, 2017

With five days remaining before the Virginia Primary for the Governor's seat, Democratic candidate Tom Perriello (22%) leads the field of Democrats by five points over current Lt. Governor Ralph Northam (16%), while Republican Ed Gillespie has a sizeable lead (25%) over his Republican challengers Frank Wagner (9%) and Corey Stewart (8%). This according to the poll released today by the Hampton University Center for Public Policy (CPP).

Many of the polled respondents remain undecided, but are sure that the next Governor of Virginia needs to prioritize improving the economy of Virginia and job creation.

The poll was conducted from June 1-6, 2017 and included 741 live interviews of likely voters in Virginia who are registered to vote and said they are likely to vote in the 2017 Primary for Governor of Virginia on Tuesday, June 13, 2017.

When respondents were asked "for whom would you vote" from the list of Democratic hopefuls, 22% chose the former United States congressman Tom Perriello, while 16% indicated they would choose Pediatric neurologist and current Lt. Governor Ralph Northam. However, 38% either refused to answer or are undecided.

Q3A. If the Democratic Primary were held today, for whom would you vote:

Tom Perriello 22%
Ralph Northam 16%
Never Vote Democrat 24%
Don’t know/Refused 38%
TOTAL 100%

On the Republican side, respondents put Ed Gillespie (former advisor to President George W. Bush) in the lead over the other Republican challengers with 25%, with Virginia State Senator Frank Wagner capturing 9%, while Corey Stewart (Prince William County Board of Supervisors, Chair) had 8% support from respondents who were asked "for whom would you vote" if the republican primary were held today. As is the case with the Democrats, more people surveyed (32%) are still undecided.

Q3B. If the Republican Primary were held today, for whom would you vote:

Ed Gillespie 25%
Frank Wagner  9%
Corey Stewart  8%
Never vote Republican 27%
Don’t know/Refused 32%
TOTAL 101%

Not all of the 741 respondents surveyed agreed to answer the survey question about the election being held today when it included all five candidates. Only 116 likely Virginia voters were willing to identify a candidate they would support. However, of the 116 bi-partisan voters who were asked if the election for governor were held today, and all five candidates were on the ballot, Republican Ed Gillespie (28%) has a slight edge over Democrat Tom Perriello (26%) and Democrat Ralph Northam is third with 21%.

Q3C. And If the general election for Governor of Virginia were held today, for whom would you vote:

Ed Gillespie 28%
Tom Perriello 26%
Ralph Northam 21%
Frank Wagner 13%
Corey Stewart 10%
Don’t know/Refused  3%
TOTAL 101%

Likely registered Virginia voters have remained consistent since polling leading up to the 2016 Presidential election regarding their focus on Virginia state leadership working to improve the economy and create jobs (36%). The second most important issue that the next Governor should prioritize is Healthcare, which garnered 23% of respondents surveyed. Education (20%) was third, improving transportation infrastructure such as bridges, tunnels and road surfaces was fourth and Gun control rounded out the bottom with 3% coming in fifth on the priority list for the next governor of Virginia.

Q5. Please tell me which one issue on this list should be the top priority of the next Governor of Virginia, no matter who it is:?

Interviews Percent
Working to improve the Economy and create jobs 264 36%
Healthcare 168 23%
Education 146 20%
Improving transportation infrastructure (such as bridges, tunnels and road surfaces) 113 15%
Gun Control 23 3%
Don’t Know/Refused 26 4%
TOTAL 741 101%

All five candidates seem to have a great deal of work to do in increasing name recognition and educating voters about themselves.

Ed Gillespie is the least unheard of among all five candidates at 9% while Corey Stewart tops out on anonymity at 22%. Among those who indicate they have heard of a candidate but do not know enough about him to have an opinion, Frank Wagner lags behind in messaging with 21% not knowing enough to have formed an opinion. When combining "no opinion" with "unknown" both Frank Wagner and Corey Stewart seem to have the most work ahead as each has a combined percentage of 42% in those two categories. Ed Gillespie has the highest favorability rating, 34% when combining Very favorable and Favorable responses. Among voters who have an opinion about a candidate, 4 of the 5 candidates have higher favorability ratings than unfavorable ratings; Corey Stewart is the one exception with an overall Favorability rating of 23% versus an unfavorable rating of 26%. Please visit www.hamptonu.edu/cpp/ for more charts and comprehensive details on this question of candidate favorability among likely Virginia voters surveyed for this poll.

Nearly half of likely Virginia Primary voters surveyed disapprove of the job Donald Trump is doing as President of the United States while only 43% approve.

Q11. Overall, do you approve or do you disapprove of the job Donald Trump is doing as President of the United States?

Interviews Percent
Disapprove 373 50%
Approve 322 43%
Don’t Know/Refused 46 6%
TOTAL 741 99%

Though he is on the way out of office, a clear majority (60%) of likely Virginia Primary voters continue to approve of the job current Governor Terry McAuliffe is doing while only 31% disapprove.

Q12. Overall, do you approve or do you disapprove of the job Terry McAuliffe is doing as Governor of Virginia?

Interviews Percent
Approve 443 60%
Disapprove 226 31%
Don’t Know/Refused 72 10%
TOTAL 741 101%

Methodology

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

Live interviews were conducted by telephone from June 1-6, 2017. 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). The sample was RDD landline and Cell, drawn in geographic proportion to the registered voter population in the state of Virginia.

These data were 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%; this phenomenon is most obvious in the allocation by county as the very large number of response categories provided a multitude of opportunities for rounding and resulted in totals of significantly less than 100% (89%) overall.

The weighting process takes into account the disproportionate probabilities of household and respondent selection due to the number of landlines or cellphones answered by respondents and their households.

Following application of the above weights, the sample is post-stratified and balanced by key demographics such as age, race, sex, education, marital status, and party affiliation.

The sample is also weighted to reflect the distribution of phone usage in Virginia, meaning the proportion of those who are cell phone only, landline only, and mixed users. A total of 741 interviews were conducted between June 1 and June 6, 2017; 378 using Landline sample and 363 using Cell sample.

The margin of error for the survey is +/- 4.2% for the full sample.