Biden up 12 points on Trump in Virginia, latest CNU poll finds

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Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks in Wilmington, Del., on March 12, 2020, left, and President Donald Trump speaks at the White House in Washington on April 5, 2020. (AP Photo, File)

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has a sizable polling lead over President Donald Trump in Christopher Newport University’s latest survey of likely Virginia voters.

The new poll released Wednesday by CNU’s Wason Center for Civic Leadership shows Biden is up 53%-41%. Last week’s CNU poll of voters in Virginia’s Second Congressional District had Biden up by 9%. Incumbent Democrat Elaine Luria was leading Republican challenger Scott Taylor there by 7 points, 50%-43%.

Biden is up big with Black voters (90%-9%) and college-educated voters (60-35%), voting blocks that typically lean toward Democrats. The notable advantages for Biden are a 22 point lead with women (60%-38%), and groups that tend to lean Republican. He’s up 54% to 42% among voters 45 and older and has a slight edge among men, 46-45%.

Non-college-educated voters still have a slight preference for Trump, 48%-46%, CNU found. The Wason Center interviewed 908 registered Virginia voters on cell phones and landlines between October 15-27, and say the margin of error for the survey is 3.4%.

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton won Virginia by more than 5% in 2016, 49.73% to 44.41% over President Trump. Clinton won the popular vote by more than 2 million voters, 1,981,473 to 1,769,443.

The pandemic is top of mind for a plurality of Virginia voters, with 29% saying COVID-19 is the top issue for whoever gets sworn in in January. The economy (21%) and health care (13%) were the next highest priorities for voters. A Hampton University/AP-NORC poll also recently found that the pandemic is the number one concern for Virginia voters.

“Voters have COVID-19 on their minds as they vote, which is not good news for President Trump,” said Wason Center Academic Director Quentin Kidd.

CNU’s poll for the U.S. Senate race in Virginia found Democrat incumbent Mark Warner is up big on Republican challenger Daniel Gade (57%-37%). Warner was up 7 points in a Wason Center poll conducted in mid-September.

Gade has strong support among Republicans (86%) but Warner has made large gains in both men, older voters, white voters overall and non-college-educated voters, the poll found.

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