Poll: Trump closes gap in Virginia, but Clinton still leads

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, left, stands with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton before the first presidential debate at Hofstra University, Monday, Sept. 26, 2016, in Hempstead, N.Y. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, left, stands with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton before the first presidential debate at Hofstra University, Monday, Sept. 26, 2016, in Hempstead, N.Y. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump has pulled within 7 points of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in Virginia, and is seeing more party support, according to a new poll from the Christopher Newport University Wason Center for Public Policy.

CNU says Clinton had been leading by as many as 15 percentage points, but according the poll released Friday, Clinton’s lead stands at 46-39 among likely Virginia voters. Both candidates saw a bump in this poll, which CNU says is due to Virginia voters leaving Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.

Analysis: CNU Presidential Election Poll — Oct. 28

“True to form for the past several statewide elections in Virginia, Republican voters appear to be coming home late, but coming home,” said Dr. Quentin Kidd, Director of the Wason Center. “That’s good news for Trump, and especially good news for the Republican candidates down-ballot.”

The recent shift in CNU’s polling for Trump has been attributed to the return of Republican women to his camp. Despite this, the new poll shows Clinton with a 10 point lead — 46-36 percent — among women voters.

Another swing in favor of Trump the CNU poll is among party loyalty, which has largely favored Clinton. Trump has seen a boost in party support from 72 percent in a previous poll to 84 percent in Friday’s poll.

Party support for Clinton stands at 87 percent in CNU’s poll.

Poll: Clinton leads Trump by 10 percent in Va. ahead of debate

Clinton’s lead had increased slightly in a previous CNU poll released in early October. Likely Virginia voters had appeared to shift their support from Johnson and Trump to Clinton after the first presidential debate.

Trump continues to carry a lead in military households in Virginia. In fact, the GOP nominee’s lead in that regard is up to 48-40 percent, compared to the 37-36 advantage he enjoyed in the early Oct. CNU poll.

Margins among military voters has shifted in CNU’s polling since their initial pre-debate poll in September.

The poll was conducted Oct. 23-26 among 814 likely Virginia voters and has a +/- 4.2 percent margin of error.