Roanoke College Poll: Democrats Have Momentum As Fall Campaign Approaches

Aug 27, 2019

Next week is Labor Day and the traditional beginning of the campaign season in Virginia. A new poll shows Democrats are poised to do very well.

Democrats are leading Republicans in elections for the Virginia state Senate and the House of Delegates. That’s the result of a new poll from Roanoke College that has Democrats leading with 36 percent support in the Senate and 38 percent support in the House.

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Harry Wilson at Roanoke College says the generic ballot question shows the overall contours of the race.  “It certainly is not directly applicable to any specific Senate race or House of Delegates race," Wilson noted. "But I think it fits in with a mosaic that we’ve been seeing for the past decade or so in Virginia in the sense that Virginia has been trending more blue, more Democratic, over that period of time.”

Click here for complete poll results

Turnout tends to be very low in odd-year elections, especially when there are no statewide races for governor or attorney general. But Bob Denton at Virginia Tech says Democrats will be able to capitalize on those polling numbers if turnout is relatively high.  “And so if the turnout starts getting above 32 to 35 percent, the Democrats will easily maintain and exceed their goal.”

This November, every seat in the General Assembly will be on the ballot, all 100 seats in the House of Delegates and all 40 seats in the state Senate.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.