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Poll: Comstock trailing by 10 points in Va. House race

Rep. Barbara ComstockBarbara Jean ComstockElizabeth Warren’s DNA test sounds more like ‘identity theft’ The Memo: Trump chats up media ahead of midterms Comey donates maximum amount to Democratic challenger in Virginia House race MORE (R-Va.) is trailing behind her Democratic opponent by 10 points in one of the top House races this cycle, according to a poll released Tuesday.

A poll conducted by Monmouth University found that Comstock’s Democratic rival, state Sen. Jennifer Wexton, is ahead of the congresswoman, 49 percent to 39 percent. Half of voters polled identify as independents and Wexton leads that voter bloc by 9 points, 45 percent to 36 percent.

Comstock’s district in the Washington, D.C., exurbs has been trending blue in recent elections, despite Republicans' grip on it for years. Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillicon Valley: Bolton tells Russians 2016 meddling had little effect | Facebook eyes major cyber firm | Saudi site gets hacked | Softbank in spotlight over Saudi money | YouTube fights EU 'meme ban' proposal Dems lower expectations for 'blue wave' Election Countdown: Takeaways from heated Florida governor's debate | DNC chief pushes back on 'blue wave' talk | Manchin faces progressive backlash | Trump heads to Houston rally | Obama in Las Vegas | Signs of huge midterm turnout MORE won the affluent and well-educated district in 2016. And one year later in Virginia’s gubernatorial election, Gov. Ralph Northam (D) carried it by more than 12 points.

Following Wexton's primary win earlier this month, nonpartisan election handicapper Cook Political Report shifted the race rating from toss-up to lean Democratic.

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Comstock is leading among white voters who don’t have a college degree, 50 percent to 38 percent. But Wexton holds a 9-point lead among white college graduates and an even wider lead among black, Hispanic and Asian voters, 62 percent to 21 percent.

“This part of the commonwealth was a critical factor in the blue wave that elected Democrats in last year’s election for governor and state legislature,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.

“Not much has changed in the political environment since then, with President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump to fundraise for 3 Republicans running for open seats: report Trump to nominate former Monsanto exec to top Interior position White House aides hadn’t heard of Trump's new tax cut: report MORE creating a significant drag for Comstock.”

Trump, who lost the district by 10 points, has underwater approval numbers in the 10th District, with 53 percent of voters who disapprove and 42 percent who approve. Of those who oppose Trump, 70 percent said it impacts how they vote in this House election. Meanwhile, 58 percent who support him feel the same about their vote for Congress.

Tuesday’s survey also polled which party voters would rather have in the House majority. Forty-two percent prefer Democrats to have control, while 34 percent would rather have Republicans in control. Twenty-two percent say it doesn’t matter which party controls the lower chamber.

“Comstock may focus on her constituent service record to offset the negative feelings about both Trump and the GOP brand. But this tactic would not appear to give her any advantage against the challenger,” Murray said.

The poll was conducted from June 21-24 and surveyed 400 voters in the district. The margin of error was 4.9 percentage points.