The Virginia Republican primary has become a three-person race, according to a new poll released Tuesday by the Christopher Newport University Center for Public Policy.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump leads the way with 28 percent support, trailed by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) at 22 percent, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) with 19 percent among likely voters. Tied for a distant fourth place are Ben Carson and Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) with 7 percent, followed by Jeb Bush at 4 percent.
While Trump leads the way in the latest poll, he also has by far the highest unfavorable rating, with 64 percent of respondents viewing him negatively. Rubio has the highest favorable rating, at 44 percent.
The polling institute also surveyed Democratic voters, and found that Hillary Clinton leads Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) 52-40 percent in Virginia. John Kasich has the lead with voters who have not yet made up their minds on him, with 39 percent saying they “don’t know” how they view the Ohio governor. Hillary has the second-worst unfavorable rating, at 59 percent, followed by Jeb Bush, who is viewed negatively by 58 percent of respondents.
The survey asked participants how they would feel about a proposed plan to “bar all non-citizen Muslims from entering the country.” 38 percent of Republicans said they would support a candidate who proposed such a ban, while 24 percent opposed, and 36 percent said it made no difference to who they would ultimately choose as a candidate. Democrats were almost unanimously opposed to the idea, with 83 percent saying it would make them less likely to vote for the candidate.
Another question in the poll asked participants whether they would be more or less likely to vote for a Democratic-Socialist. Ninety percent of Republicans said they would be less likely, but 67 percent of Democrats responded indifferently on the matter.
The Virginia primary vote will be held on March 1.