Poll: Ralph Northam Leads Slightly Over Ed Gillespie for Virginia Governor Race

The Associated Press

A new poll from Christopher Newport University (CNU) revealed that Virginia Democrat gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam leads over Republican candidate Ed Gillespie 50- 43 percent. Polls have revealed a tight race between the two for weeks.

The new poll contrasts others from Hampton University that revealed that Ed Gillespie leads Ralph Northam by eight points. Democrats across the nation and in the state of Virginia remain increasingly worried about Northam’s chances of winning the gubernatorial election.

The CNU Poll showing Northam with a seven point lead differs dramatically from the recent Hampton University Poll that shows Gillespie with an eight point lead.

“I’m getting a lot of questions about the Hampton University poll. That survey methodology is not up to industry standards, and frankly it’s work like that that gives legitimate polling a bad name,” Christopher Newport University Political Science Professor and assistant director of the Wason Center for Public Policy  Rachel Bitecofer tells Breitbart News.

“If you were to compare Hampton University methodology with our methodology you’re going to notice some significant differences. They are not starting with a sample of Virginia voters, they’re starting with a sample of Virginians, and then screening for voters.They’re not calling the voter lists that most campaigns and surveys like ours are using,” Bitecofer notes.

“We’re calling people who already have a history of being Virginia voters, and then we’re screening them to see how likely they are to vote,” she adds.

Bitecofer also said that the questions asked in the Hampton University Poll led to unusually high undecideds.

“It’s a product of two things. A poorly prepared sample of Virginia voters, and a failure to probe people who say they are initially undecided to declare where they’re leaning,” she notes.

“Our demographic weights are based on exit polling and a specific understanding of voter behavior in Virginia over a long period of time.That’s why the sample has 20 percent African Americans and 33 percent from Northern Virginia. In this election cycle Democrats are more enthusiastic to vote,” Bitecofer concludes.

The CNU poll features a strong representation from Northern Virginia, which heavily favors Ralph Northam over Ed Gillespie. Northern Virginia residents favor Northam 53 percent to 40 percent, compared to rural voters from southwest Virginia that back Ed Gillespie 51 percent to Ralph Northam 43 percent.

President Trump previously tweeted in October, “The Democrats in the Southwest part of Virginia have been abandoned by their Party. Republican Ed Gillespie will never let you down!”

The CNU poll also has Democratic lieutenant gubernatorial candidate Justin Fairfax leading over Republican state senator Jill Vogel 47 to 44 percent. Vogel, in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, said that in Virginia, “We are playing for all the marbles.”

Vogel added, “Because we are setting not just Virginia but the country on a trajectory for economic prosperity, economic freedom, healthcare freedom, and basically viability across the board on every single issue that matters to people across this country.”

President Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday that he believes that Ed Gillespie “will be a great governor of Virginia.”

Trump said, “Ed Gillespie will turn the really bad Virginia economy #’s around, and fast. Strong on crime, he might even save our great statues/heritage!”

President Trump added, “Ed Gillespie will be a great Governor of Virginia. His opponent doesn’t even show up to meetings/work, and will be VERY weak on crime!”

The Virginia gubernatorial election is on Tuesday, November 7.

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