Q-Poll: Obama rebounding in Virginia?

posted at 11:35 am on February 8, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

A new poll from Quinnipiac University holds some news which may give Republicans pause while mapping out their fall strategy and it comes from Virginia. For the first time in this series for the 2012 election, President Barack Obama has pulled back into the lead at or outside the margin of error over all four of the remaining GOP contenders, including Mitt Romney, who had been leading Obama in the Old Dominion State up until now. The Hill breaks it down.

A new poll shows President Obama pulling ahead of Mitt Romney in the key state of Virginia.

Obama wins the support of 47 percent of registered voters surveyed to Romney’s 43 percent, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.

The survey marks a turnaround for the president. A December 21 poll by Quinnipiac showed Romney edging Obama 44 percent to 42 percent.

“For the first time since Quinnipiac University began polling Virginia voters on the race, President Barack Obama holds a razor-thin lead over Gov. Mitt Romney,” said Quinnipiac University Polling Institute Assistant Director Peter A. Brown in a release.

In addition to Romney, Obama leads Ron Paul 47-40, Santorum 49-41 and Newt by 51-37.

Until Obama carried the state in 2008, Virginia had been fairly solid in the pocket of the GOP for a while, with George W. Bush carrying the vote by significant margins in both 2000 and 2004, and even Bob Dole squeezing out a win over Bill Clinton in 96. (Significant still since Ross Perot took over six percent of the vote that year.) If any of Obama’s surprise 2008 wins are going to be flipped back to the Red column this year, Virginia was certainly a top contender.

Theories are already being floated as to what is driving the change, focusing largely on an increasing voter perception that the economy is beginning to turn around and improve. Two factors seem to be driving the most notable shifts giving Obama an edge, including an increase in support from independents, leading Romney there by a 45-41 margin. But the most worrisome factor, as Taegan Goddard notes, is that Obama is winning the battle with women voters over Mitt by a staggering 52-40.

As usual, though, the race has to ripen considerably more before these numbers can be seen as solid. The poll was done before Santorum’s Tuesday night, three state sweep, and his name recognition in Virginia is still the lowest of the four possible nominees.(In this poll, fully 1/3 of Virginia voters don’t know enough about Santorum to make up their minds.) He also hasn’t received the same level of vetting as the other three yet, so Virginians will have plenty of time to learn more and make up their minds if he winds up becoming the main non-Mitt candidate.

The polling for the head to head match-ups sampled 1,544 registered voters (not likely) which is not ideal, but still better than a survey of all adults, and Quinnipiac has developed a fairly solid reputation. The D/R/I breakdown has not yet been provided. The related primary poll (which shows Romney crushing Ron Paul 68-19 with neither Newt nor Rick Santorum on the ballot) was among 546 likely Republican voters.

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That leaves him: Washington, Massachusetts, Maryland, California, Guam, Illinois, New Jersey, American Samoa, Utah, Vermont, Hawaii, DC, Virginia, Puerto Rico, Wisconsin, Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, Oregon, Delaware, Montana, New Mexico, Ohio, Virgin Islands.

If he got 100% of the delegates there he’s still short by 40 delegates and that’s without him losing a chunk from the proportional allotment on Super Tuesday.

cpaulus on February 8, 2012 at 1:51 PM

Little do you realize but the states you mentioned are all Democrat leaning states. Hmmm….That’s odd….

timberline on February 8, 2012 at 1:58 PM

Little do you realize but the states you mentioned are all Democrat leaning states. Hmmm….That’s odd….

timberline on February 8, 2012 at 1:58 PM

Right, I don’t see how he gets to 1,144.

He’s going to get about 950-1010 unless someone drops out.

cpaulus on February 8, 2012 at 2:03 PM

MoreTeaPlease on February 8, 2012 at 1:51 PM

No doubt you consider yourself a champion astroturfer, with a well thought out handle. You folks are sly ones, oh yes you are!

Priscilla on February 8, 2012 at 2:06 PM

I am sure the survey wasn’t biased by asking the OWS crowd their perspectives and ignoring anyone near or even close to conservative. /sarc

landowner on February 8, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Okay, everyone, it’s high time for the GOP primary to come to a close. Stop pining for a non-Romney. None of them has a prayer. Too many conservatives have suffered this delusion that what America wants right now is a solid conservative. No poll supports this, only fantasies. America wants a competent centrist, and offering that would serve as a stark contrast to the incumbent, and the only contrast Americans care to see. You have to face that fact that you really only have two choices this year, Romney or Obama, and it otherwise makes no difference who the GOP nominee is. The sooner you accept that you only have two choices, the more likely you are to at least have those two, rather than ceding reelection to Obama outright.

EricW on February 8, 2012 at 11:57 AM

YES YES! Let’s all get on board because it’s panic city baby!

How about we all vote our conscience and for the person we FEEL will do the best job. Can we at least do that in the primaries? Is that alright with you chicken littles? We have time to get on the train once we have all voted our own minds. Sheesh.

landowner on February 8, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Looks like all the laid off coal miners like those welfare lines!

vietvet68 on February 8, 2012 at 2:26 PM

I’m in Arlington/Falls Church – the epicenter of the soviet Virginia. The total number of Obama 2012 bumper stickers I’ve seen so far I can probably count on my fingers any toes, but it’s still early I guess.

I’m generally a Romney supporter, but I’m warming up to the idea of Santorum. He would get crushed in this portion of the state, while Romney would just do poorly, but it all just depends if his candidacy would increase turnout in the rest of the state over Romney. I’m not convinced of that, but maybe there are that many [email protected] conservatives who would stay home rather than vote for Romney.

Santorum would definitely be portrayed as a radical Christian who wants to take women’s birth control and forced into back alley abortions, but I’m wondering if that’s worse than being called an out-of-touch millionaire – a charge Romney seems to have a tough time acquitting. The fact that the left seems so excited about Romney not wrapping this up does give me pause.

The Count on February 8, 2012 at 2:40 PM

Even though he is not on the VA ballot, “Why Newt Fights” is an important read.

onlineanalyst on February 8, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Bet the farm on Obama winning Virginia, and you will be homeless in November.

There’s a good bit of family feuding in the GOP race, as is usual, and independents are turned off by it. Also, our nominee hasn’t made his case to the nation yet, so the polling reflects what the opponents are saying about each other, and none of it is nice.

Adjoran on February 8, 2012 at 3:16 PM


Oh please, don’t give me that astroturf crap. If you are willing to hold your nose and allow the establishment to shove a RINO down your throat then so be it. Have fun voting for someone with absolutly no convictions.

I can’t stand BHO. But if I can give him credit for one thing it’s that he not shy about showing his true Marxist colors.

Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.

At least I’m willing to give the GOP establishment the one-finger salute. You should grow a pair and do the same. It will be better for the country and the party in the long run.

MoreTeaPlease on February 8, 2012 at 3:26 PM

The Count on February 8, 2012 at 2:40 PM

I’m down I-81 in Floyd County. SW Virginia will go with whoever the GOP nominates, but I still fear the large number of Beltway Bandits in NoVA and the gubmint teat latchers in Tidewater may tip us to disaster again.

I hope I’m wrong. When I want to see the Soviet supporters in force I drive over to the Virginia Tech campus. However, back in 08 I did see the bumper stickers of BOTH Kucinich supporters in the state.

TugboatPhil on February 8, 2012 at 3:43 PM

Santorum would definitely be portrayed as a radical Christian who wants to take women’s birth control and forced into back alley abortions, …

The Count on February 8, 2012 at 2:40 PM

The thing about Santorum and the abortion issue that I rather look forward to, is that, unlike Mr. Niceguy McCain, who wouldn’t say anything bad about Obama, I believe Santorum will go all out on how radically pro-abortion Obama is. Not just pointing out the fact that practically the first thing Obama did as president was spit in the eye of all the ‘pro-life’ Catholics/dems who voted for him by repealing the Mexico City Policy, but I see him quoting Obama’s reasoning for voting against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. That’s some goulish testimony that McCain should have exploited and, unless I missed it, he didn’t. I think it will shock a lot of people who don’t get their news from sites like LifesiteNews, HotAir, etc…

pannw on February 8, 2012 at 4:23 PM

TugboatPhil on February 8, 2012 at 3:43 PM

I’m a VT alumnus. I don’t really remember it being a bastion of liberalism while I was there, but I’ll take your word for it. Not really surprising though – academia is always riddled with leftists. Whereas, the people who actually have to work in the real world are mostly Republican.

The Count on February 8, 2012 at 4:45 PM

Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.

At least I’m willing to give the GOP establishment the one-finger salute.

You are giving the entire GOP, as well as the primary system the one-finger salute, don’t pretend otherwise. Anyone who would vote for Obama instead of any of the Republican candidates is a liberal at best. Your phony Tea Party handle doesn’t fool anyone.

Priscilla on February 8, 2012 at 5:01 PM

Leave it to Jazz to pi$$ his pants again over the prospects of the Republicans. Please I lived in Hamden,CT home of Quinnipiac it is in about the most liberal area of the United States a suburb of New Haven, CT. These people HAVE NEVER had anything other than a BLUE bias and you are a FOOL!!! to trust their pro-Obama, he’s making a comeback spin. THIS IS ALL TO KEEP OBAMA VOTERS FROM GETTING DEPRESSED AND NOT PUSHING OBAMA”S RE-ELECTION WITH CONTRIBUTIONS< VOLUNTEERING AND SHOWING UP AT THE POLLS.

To repeat folks.


Conan on February 8, 2012 at 5:29 PM

The Count on February 8, 2012 at 4:45 PM

My husband and kids are VT alumni and I don’t think that VT is such a bastion of liberalism, even in the faculty. Of course there is the strong Corps of Cadets and the engineering department (i.e., real world), but even in the History department where my daughter majored, she didn’t find rampant liberalism. My niece in Christiansburg though leans liberal, saying that she likes her taxes to go to the poor. (!!)

It would be interesting to see a poll showing support throughout the state, county by county. I’ll bet the City of Richmond is high on Obama love, with the suburbs more GOP especially since McDonnell goes to church there. Evangelicals in Tidewater and rural Virginia are more conservative, and that is where Santorum could win.

At least Virginia has the possibility of going red, unlike my state, Delaware!

mathgal60 on February 8, 2012 at 5:57 PM

The Virginia university system is not different from any other, when you hire faculty that is what you get, and they operate in a closed environment, not the real world. Don’t blame VT, blame the faculty, that is where those kind of people migrate.

Fleuries on February 8, 2012 at 7:47 PM