VA poll puts Trump down nineteen in two-way race

Ed Morrissey Posted at 5:31 pm on August 23, 2016

How bad is the new Roanoke College poll of Virginia for Donald Trump? This bad — he’s down 19 points in a binary race against Hillary Clinton in a poll series that showed a tie when he clinched the nomination. In the four-way race, he’s down 16:

Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has opened a 16-point lead over Republican Donald Trump among likely voters in Virginia (48%-32%), according to The Roanoke College Poll. Libertarian Gary Johnson received the support of 8 percent of likely voters, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein trailed the field with 3 percent, while 9 percent remain undecided. In a two-way matchup, Clinton’s lead extends to 19 points (55%-36%). The candidates were tied in the May Roanoke College Poll.

The voter-enthusiasm measure offers even more bad news, especially for a campaign arguing that grassroots passion will save the day:

Nearly two-thirds of likely voters (64%) said they were very interested in the campaign (27% were somewhat interested), and 88 percent said they care a good deal about who wins the presidential election. Democrats (71%) are now more likely to be very interested in the campaign compared to Republicans (61%), and more likely to care a good deal about who wins (93% of Democrats; 67% of Republicans).

Given the overall support gap in the toplines, a 26-point gap in enthusiasm makes some sense. It’s a bad sign, though, in a key swing state, one in which Trump’s pragmatism should play better, at least in theory. Instead, Trump appears to have lost all but the most conservative voters, and doesn’t even hold Republicans as well as Hillary’s holding Democrats (78/91).

The demographics look terrible, as one might imagine with this kind of topline result. Trump only wins 25% of independents, although Hillary only gets 43%, both with leaners. Without leaners, both candidates do terribly, with Hillary leading 21/9. Trump trails slightly among men (41/43), but has a 27-point deficit with women (25/52). Trump only barely holds white voters, 41/38, and only gets 4% of African-Americans.

Regionally, it’s an even bigger disaster. Trump holds the reliably GOP corner of southwestern Virginia 58/20 and the Shenandoah Valley 63/35. The rest is all Hillary’s, including the vote-rich Northern Virginia counties, where she leads 61/19. Mitt Romney lost Fairfax and Prince William counties by 41/57 as a comparison, and came within five points in Loudoun, 47/52.

Unfortunately, the Roanoke poll isn’t exactly an outlier. The RCP average for Virginia has Hillary up 12.8 points (that includes these results), and only one poll since the conventions has Trump within single digits — a Washington Post poll from two weeks ago. The only saving grace is that Trump could win without Virginia, but he’d have to hold all other Romney-won states from 2012 and win Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Ohio to do it. And right now, Trump is behind in the RCP averages in all four states — and hasn’t led in any of them since the conventions.

Right now it’s pretty clear why Team Hillary decided to yank their ads from the Old Dominion. If Team Trump wants to make them pay for that decision, they’d better start hustling.