While the president boasts 47 percent of the electorate, 48 percent of likely voters in the mid-Atlantic state say they plan on voting for the former Massachusetts governor, a slight-enough lead that falls within the poll’s margin of error putting the race at a tie.
However, adding third party candidate Gary Johnson also tips the balance with Johnson winning 3 percent of the total vote, mostly drawing from Romney’s count, though his candidacy also appears to draw a few votes from President Obama’s totals as well.
Additionally, the poll found Democrat Tim Kaine leading Republican George Allen in the race for U.S. Senate, a key race in the Republican effort to win a majority of seats in the U.S. Senate.
The Voice of Russia commissioned Illumination Multimedia, a non-partisan public polling and media consulting firm to survey likely voters in Virginia. Illumination used an automated calling and response system to poll a sample size of 685 likely voters in the swing state. The overall results were calculated to have a margin of error of 3.8 percent. Calling started on Saturday, Oct. 27 and ended Monday, Oct. 29.
While the economy still lags and voters still cite it as a key consideration for their choice of president, Obama appears to be closing the gap in terms of how voters view his past performance and his ability to handle the nation’s financial situation.
Nearly an equal number of likely voters in Virginia approve of Obama’s performance as president compared to those who say they do not approve of it (49 percent each).
Additionally, 48 percent say they trust the president more on economic issues compared to 47 percent who say they trust Romney more. Meanwhile, the president scores considerably higher marks in foreign affairs with a majority (51 percent) trusting him in that arena more compared to only 44 percent who say they trust Romney more.
The poll also surveyed voters on third-party candidates Johnson of the Libertarian Party and Jill Stein of the Green Party, adding them to a second question on who they are voting for in the presidential race.
Without Johnson or Stein, the breakdown was 49 percent for Romney, 47 percent for Obama and 3 percent who were undecided given those choices or planning on voting for an unnamed third-party candidate.
In the follow-up question, Obama lost a handful of votes but maintained about 47 percent of the total while Romney dropped from 49 to 46 percent and Johnson picked up 3 percent of the vote. Stein polled less than 1 percent.
Republicans had previously challenged Johnson’s effort to appear on the ballot in Virginia, but last month the Virginia Board of Elected rejected the appeal.
Without the third-party candidates, the poll also looked at demographic breakdowns by race, age, gender and party.
As in other states, Romney clearly wins among white voters who favor the former governor 54 to 41 percent. African-Americans, on the other hand, overwhelmingly favor Obama 84 to 12 percent, in this case. Other non-white voters also largely favor President Obama giving him 52 percent of their vote over Romney’s 44 percent while Latino voters are nearly evenly split with 46 percent going to Obama and 45 percent going to Romney.
Voters between the ages of 18 and 29 lean toward the president by 24 percentage points (59 to 35 percent) with 6 percent undecided or voting for a third-party candidate. The next age group (those aged 30 to 49 years old) also favor the president 52 to 42 percent, but in the next age bracket (50 to 64 years old), Virginia voters start to lean to Romney 51 percent of the vote to Obama’s 45 percent. Voters 65 and over heavily favor the Republican nominee by 9 percentage points (53 to 44 percent).
Women in Virginia choose the president by a margin of 5 percentage votes with 51 percent of female voters planning on voting for the president and 46 percent voting for Romney. Men in Virginia only slightly favor Romney by 2 percentage points (49 to 47 percent).
In Virginia, Democrats enjoy party enthusiasm on part with the Republicans. About 93 percent of Democrats plan on voting for their party’s nominee compared to 94 percent of Republicans who are resolute in their preference for their party’s candidate.
Romney, however, continues his popularity among independents and members of other parties, with a slight majority preferring him and only 39 percent choosing the president.