Monmouth University just released their new Virginia statewide poll (7/20-23; 502 VA likely voters) and detects a surprisingly tight 2017 gubernatorial campaign. The results find Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie tied at 44%, apiece. Examining the polling sample more closely, however, reveals a slight Republican skew.
In addition to the Monmouth polling sample under-representing minorities by a factor of nine percentage points in comparison to total population, the weighted numbers also give GOP primary voters a boost. The “primary voting history” is reported at 47% for Republicans versus the Democrats’ 36 percent, yet the latter turned out in greater numbers for the June 13th intra-party elections.
Overall, the sample yields 30% self-identified Democrats and 27% Republican, with 43% considering themselves independent. This division skews slightly Republican, as the actual Democratic advantage is a bit larger. Without party registration the actual numbers are difficult to determine, however. Virginia is one of 18 states that do not require voter registrants to state a political party preference or membership.
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