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CNU poll predicts Northam will win Virginia governor's race

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, left, and GOP gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie, have a light moment on stage at the Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, Va., Saturday, July 22, 2017. The two major party candidates in Virginia’s closely watched race for governor clashed at their first debate over President Donald Trump, health care, immigration, and social issues. (Bob Brown/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WSET) - According to the latest poll from Christopher Newport University, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam is leading with 51 percent of likely voters while Republican Ed Gillespie has 45 percent of likely voters.

The poll from the Wason Center for Public Policy found Libertarian Cliff Hyra has 2 percent of voters, while 2 percent are undecided.

The Wason Center allocated the undecided voters to their historical pattern of surveys of Virginia statewide elections indicates a Northam victory on Election Day, 51.3 percent to 46.8 percent over Ed Gillespie.

CNU finds Northam's lead is broad across demographics and regions.

The poll finds he leads among independents by 13 points and moderates by 29 points.

The poll shows Northam has a significant lead among women, black voters, younger voters, voters who make less than $50,000, and voters in both Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads.

The Wason Center poll finds Gillespie leads among white voters and men, but shows both candidates are statistically tied among voters 45 and older and voters in Southwest-Southside, two typically Republican areas.

“It’s hard to see how Gillespie can make up this deficit when he has consistently trailed Northam among independents by more than 10 points,” said Rachel Bitecofer, assistant director of the Wason Center. “To put it in perspective, in 2013 the Republican led among independents but still ended up losing by 2.6 percent.”

The poll shows likely voters are firmly in their partisan and ideological corners, with Northam getting 98 percent of Democratic and 91 percent of liberal votes while Gillespie takes 95 percent of Republican and 86 percent of conservative votes.

“To put it in perspective, in 2013 the Republican led among independents but still ended up losing by 2.6 percent.”

The Wason Center surveyed 839 likely Virginia voters between October 29 and November 4.

The overall margin of error is +/- 3.5 percent.

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