Roanoke College Poll: Clinton's lead widens in Virginia

Published: Oct. 11, 2016 at 6:13 AM EDT
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Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton's lead is widening among likely voters in Virginia, according to a Roanoke College poll released on Tuesday morning.

Clinton holds a 9 percentage point lead over Republican Donald Trump among likely voters in this state (45 percent-36 percent).

Libertarian Gary Johnson trails with 7 percent of likely voters, while Independent Evan McMullin and Green Party candidate Jill Stein each garner 1 percent. Ten percent of likely voters remain undecided.

In a two-way matchup, Clinton’s lead extends to 13 points (51 percent-38 percent). Clinton led by 7 percentage points in the September Roanoke College Poll (44 percent-37 percent).

The Roanoke College Poll interviewed 814 likely voters in Virginia between October 2 and October 6 and has a margin of error of +3.4 percent. The poll was conducted after the first presidential debate and prior to both the second debate and the release of the videotape of Trump making vulgar comments about women.

Much of the support for each major party candidate is solid (76 percent of Clinton voters and 68 percent of Trump supporters say it is not at all likely they will switch their votes).

Both candidates are still viewed unfavorably by voters. Clinton’s favorable ratings (39 percent favorable; 48 percent unfavorable) and those of Trump (29 percent favorable; 57 percent unfavorable) are statistically unchanged from a month ago.

One-in-four (26 percent) said the first debate made them more likely to vote for Clinton, and an almost equal number (25 percent) said it made them less likely to vote for Trump. Still, the majority said the debate made no difference in their likelihood of voting for either Trump (68 percent) or Clinton (62 percent).

Clinton was also seen as having a temperament that is fitting for president (74 percent), compared to 34 percent for Trump. A majority of respondents said she at least somewhat understands the problems of people like them (57 percent), while 40 percent said the same about Trump. All of those results are within the margin of error from last month when we asked the same questions.


Interviewing for The Roanoke College Poll was conducted by The Institute for Policy and Opinion Research at Roanoke College in Salem between October 2 and October 6, 2016. A total of 814 likely voters in Virginia were interviewed. Telephone interviews were conducted in English and Spanish. The random digit dial sample was obtained from ASDE Survey Sampler and includes both Virginia landline and cell phone exchanges so that all cell phone and residential landline telephone numbers, including unlisted numbers from Virginia exchanges, had a known chance of inclusion. Cell phones constituted 31 percent of the completed interviews. Questions answered by the entire sample of 814 likely voters are subject to a sampling error of plus or minus approximately 3.4 percent at the 95 percent level of confidence. This means that in 95 out of 100 samples like the one used here, the results obtained should be no more than 3.4 percentage points above or below the figure that would be obtained by interviewing all likely voters in Virginia who have a home telephone or a cell phone. Where the results of subgroups are reported, the sampling error is higher. Quotas were used to ensure that different regions of the Commonwealth were proportionately represented. The data were statistically weighted for gender, race, age, region and political party. Weighting was done to match the demographic groups’ representation in the 2012 Virginia exit poll. The margin of error was not adjusted for design effects due to weighting. More information about the poll may be obtained by contacting Dr. Harry Wilson at or (540) 375-2415 or the Roanoke College Public Relations Office at (540) 375-2282. The Roanoke College Poll is funded by Roanoke College as a public service.