Almost half of Virginians say Trump a factor in governor's race: poll

Almost half of Virginians say Trump a factor in governor's race: poll
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President TrumpDonald John Trump20 weeks out from midterms, Dems and GOP brace for surprises Sessions responds to Nazi comparisons: 'They were keeping the Jews from leaving' Kim Jong Un to visit Beijing this week MORE is weighing heavily on Virginia voters less than two months before the commonwealth's gubernatorial election, according to a new poll

The survey, released Tuesday by the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University, found that 39 percent of polled Virginia voters said Trump will play a role in their choice between Democratic candidate Ralph Northam and Republican Ed Gillespie

Twenty-eight percent said that the president is a major factor in their vote, according to the poll. 

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The so-called "Trump Effect" most heavily influences Democrats, pollsters found. A narrow majority of Northam voters – 51 percent – say Trump is a factor in how they'll vote. Seventy-two percent of Gillespie voters, on the other hand, say that the president has no effect on their vote. 

For a third of voters, the vote is seen as a way to send a message of disapproval to Washington, where the White House and both chambers of Congress are controlled by the GOP. 

In Virginia, Trump's approval rating sits at 35 percent, according to the poll.

But there is a sharp contrast between how Northam's and Gillespie's backers view the president. Respondents who identified as Northam voters disapprove of the job the president is doing nearly unanimously at 96 percent. But among Gillespie voters, 75 percent say they approve of the president, while 16 percent disapprove.

The state's gubernatorial election is set for Nov. 7. 

The Wason Center poll was conducted from Sept. 12 to 22, and surveyed 776 likely voters. It has a margin of error of 3.7 percent.