Poll: Biden leads Trump by double digits in Virginia

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenObama slams Trump in Miami: 'Florida Man wouldn't even do this stuff' Trump makes his case in North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin Brad Pitt narrates Biden ad airing during World Series MORE holds a double-digit lead over President TrumpDonald John TrumpObama slams Trump in Miami: 'Florida Man wouldn't even do this stuff' Trump makes his case in North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin Pence's chief of staff tests positive for COVID-19 MORE in Virginia, according to a new poll from Roanoke College released on Tuesday.

The poll shows Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, with the support of a slight majority of Virginia voters — 51 percent — while Trump trails by 12 points at 39 percent. The poll suggests that nearly four years after Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonObama slams Trump in Miami: 'Florida Man wouldn't even do this stuff' Ballot initiatives in Colorado, Louisiana could restrict abortion access Trump mocks Joe Biden's drive-in rallies at North Carolina event MORE beat Trump by a 5-point margin in Virginia, the state is drifting further in Democrats’ direction.

Neither Biden nor Trump have particularly high favorability numbers in the state. Both candidates are viewed favorably by 36 percent of those surveyed. But more respondents said they view Trump unfavorably — 49 percent — than those that view Biden unfavorably — 39 percent.


Still, Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic appears to have had little effect on his favorability numbers. A similar Roanoke College poll conducted in February found his favorability at 32 percent and his unfavorability at 54 percent.

“Events appear to be unrelated to how he is viewed in the Commonwealth,” Harry Wilson, the director of the Roanoke College Poll, said. “As is often true in the current political climate, the election will be decided by who turns out, and Democrats have outnumbered Republicans for the past several federal and statewide elections in Virginia.”

Trump’s overall job approval has also remained steady at 36 percent since February, according to the most recent Roanoke College poll. Still, a majority of Virginia voters — 54 percent — said they disapprove of the job he’s doing in the White House. 

For decades, Republican presidential candidates had carried Virginia, but Democrats have won the state in every presidential election since 2008, when former President Obama defeated the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMark Kelly releases Spanish ad featuring Rep. Gallego More than 300 military family members endorse Biden Jennifer Lawrence says until Trump she was 'a little Republican' MORE (R-Ariz.). 

There are other signs of the state’s drift toward Democrats. The party flipped three Republican-held House seats in the 2018 midterm elections before capturing control of the Virginia General Assembly last year, giving it total control over the state’s government for the first time since 1994.

The Roanoke College poll surveyed 563 potential Virginia voters by phone from May 3-17. It has a margin of error of 4.1 percentage points.