Recent polls show close race for Virginia Governor seat

RICHMOND, Va. – According to two new polls out Monday by Suffolk University and the University of Mary Washington, the race for Governor of Virginia is a close one.

Both polls had different projected results, with the Commonwealth’s race for governor going into its last two months of campaigning.

Mary Washington’s poll showed that Democratic Party candidate Ralph Northam had 44 percent support of likely voters compared to his Republican Party counterpart Ed Gillespie, who had 39 percent. It also had Libertarian Party candidate Cliff Hyra at three percent, and 14 percent left undecided.

The poll also found that candidates were tied among voters in Hampton Roads.

Mary Washington compiled its data off of over 1,000 residence 18-year-old or older in Virginia, and interviews were done in English under the direction of Princeton Data Source from Sept. 5 to 12, 2017.

The poll put out by the Suffolk University had both candidates tied, sitting at 42 percent each. Libertarian Clifford Hyra is at three percent, and 12 percent are undecided.

Voters were split by party and race on the topic of Confederate statues in public places, with 61 percent of Democrats supporting removal and 91 percent of Republicans and 60 percent of independents opposed. Among black voters, 65 percent supported removal, while 67 percent of whites were opposed.

Hyra is certified on the official ballot for governor, but the Libertarian candidate was not invited to the governor’s debate at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 19.

“Although most voters have never heard of Hyra, they still respect that any candidate who has gone through the process of getting on the Virginia ballot should be included in the debate,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston.

Among independent voters, Gillespie led Northam 40 percent to 26 percent, with Hyra at seven percent, and 26 percent undecided. Gillespie led Northam 90 percent to four percent among Republicans, with five percent undecided, and Northam led Gillespie 90 percent to two percent among Democrats, with six percent undecided.

Suffolk University conducted its questioning of 500 likely Virginia voters on Sept. 13 through Sept. 17.  The used live telephone interviews of households where respondents indicated they were very or somewhat likely to vote in the Nov. 2017 general election for governor.

Of the almost six million voters eligible for the midterm in Virginia in 2014, only 2.2 million voted, according to the U.S. Election Project.

Click here for in-depth poll information of Suffolk University poll

Click here for in-depth information on the University of Mary Washington poll