Sept 2017 RC Poll Politics Topline

Roanoke College Poll Topline Gubernatorial Election - September 2017

Hi, I'm____________ and I'm calling from Roanoke College. How are you today/this evening? We're conducting a survey of Virginia residents regarding important issues and your opinion is very important to us. Your responses are confidential.

1. Are you registered to vote in Virginia?

Yes 100%
No [TERMINATE] 0%

2. How likely is it that you will vote in the election for governor in November? Is it very likely, somewhat likely, not very likely, or not likely at all?

Very likely 86%
Somewhat likely 14%
Not very likely [TERMINATE] 0%
Not likely at all [TERMINATE] 0%

Please tell me if you have a generally favorable or unfavorable impression of the following people or if you don't know enough about them to have formed an opinion:

3. Donald Trump

Favorable 35%
Unfavorable 54%
Mixed 8%
Don't know/Refused 3%

4. Terry McAuliffe

Favorable 42%
Unfavorable 29%
Mixed 12%
Don't know/Refused 17%

5. Ed Gillespie

Favorable 34%
Unfavorable 27%
Mixed 13%
Don't know/Refused 26%

6. Ralph Northam

Favorable 32%
Unfavorable 25%
Mixed 9%
Don't know/Refused 34%

7. If the election for governor was held today and you had to decide right now, would you vote for [ROTATE FIRST THREE; READ FIRST THREE ONLY]

Ed Gillespie, the Republican 42%
Ralph Northam, the Democrat 44%
Cliff Hyra, the Libertarian 5%
Undecided [VOLUNTERED ONLY] 9%
Refused [TERMINATE] 0%

7a. [IF UNSURE] Are you leaning toward voting for a particular candidate-Gillespie, Northam, or Hyra?

Gillespie 9%
Northam 21%
Hyra 0%
Undecided 70%

7b. Imagine that you are at the polling booth right now, about to cast your vote -- who do you vote for?

Gillespie 5%
Northam 16%
Hyra 0%
Undecided 79%

7c. TOTALS INCLUDING "LEANERS" [CALCULATED]

Gillespie 43%
Northam 47%
Hyra 5%
Undecided 5%

8. What is the most important issue to you in this election?

Economy--jobs, unemployment, debt, etc. 15%
Taxes 5%
Immigration 4%
Terrorism 1%
Economic inequality 4%
Race relations/Confederate statutes 2%
Abortion 2%
Gun control/gun rights 2%
Budget deficit/ debt 1%
Education 9%
Health care/ Obamacare 20%
Climate change/environment 3%
Honesty/character/corruption 5%
Leadership 2%
Stopping Donald Trump 1%
Crime/police/violence 1%
Illegal drugs/opioids 1%
Transportation/infrastructure 2%
Other 12%
Refused 9%

9. Do you think things in the COUNTRY are generally going in the right direction or do you think things have gotten off on the wrong track?

Right direction 30%
Wrong track 63%
Unsure 7%
Refused 1%

10. Do you think things in the Commonwealth of Virginia are generally going in the right direction or do you think things have gotten off on the wrong track?

Right direction 52%
Wrong track 37%
Unsure 11%
No answer 1%

11. In general, do you approve or disapprove of the way Donald Trump is handling his job as President of the United States?

Approve 36%
Disapprove 56%
Mixed 8%
Don't Know/Refused 1%

12. In general, do you approve or disapprove of the way Terry McAuliffe is handling his job as Governor of Virginia?

Approve 49%
Disapprove 33%
Mixed 12%
Don't Know/Refused 6%

13. In general, do you approve or disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job?

Approve 11%
Disapprove 76%
Mixed 10%
Refused/Don't Know 3%

The next several questions deal with the topic of immigration.

14. As you may know, President Trump recently ended the program that protects some individuals, who entered the country illegally as children, from deportation and allows them to go to school or to work. Overall, do you agree or disagree with the decision to end the program?

Agree 32%
Disagree 61%
Unsure 6%
Refused 2%

15. Currently a little more than 1 million people are allowed to legally immigrate to US each year -- do you think that is too many, too few or about right?

Too many 31%
Too few 14%
About right 45%
Unsure 8%
Refused 2%

16. Should the immigration system be based more on keeping families together or admitting immigrants with job skills that can benefit them and the nation?

Keep families together 43%
Admit those with job skills 41%
Unsure 12%
Refused 4%

17. Would you favor or oppose building a wall along the entire border with Mexico?

Favor 33%
Oppose 61%
Unsure 5%
Refused 1%

18. Which statement comes closest to your view about how the immigration system should deal with immigrants who are currently living in the U.S. illegally: the immigration system should allow them to become citizens provided they meet certain requirements OR allow them to become permanent legal residents, but not citizens OR identify and deport them?

Allow citizenship 55%
Permanent legal residents 28%
Deport them 13%
Unsure / Refused 5%

19. In general, do you support or oppose building natural gas pipelines in Virginia?

Favor 47%
Oppose 32%
Unsure 16%
Refused 5%

20. As you know, there has been a great deal of discussion recently about Confederate statues and monuments. Some people see them as historical objects, while others see them as racist symbols. Which is closer to your view?

Historical objects 62%
Racist symbols 28%
Both [VOL] 6%
Unsure 2%
Refused 3%

21. Do you think statues honoring leaders of the Confederacy such as Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson should remain as a historical symbol or be removed because they are offensive to some people?

Remain 66%
Remove 28%
Unsure 5%
Refused 2%

22. And should we remove the statues at many courthouses in Virginia that commemorate the soldiers who died in the Civil War or allow them to remain?

Remain 76%
Remove 14%
Unsure 7%
Refused 3%

23. Do you happen to know if you had any relatives who fought in the Civil War?

Yes 36%
No 44%
Unsure /Refused 20%


23a. Did your relatives fight for the South or the North or did you have ancestors on both sides?

South 35%
North 20%
Both 38%
Unsure / Refused 7%

24. Based on what you know, what was the major cause of the civil war? Slavery, state's rights, military action by the north, or military action by the south, or something else?

Slavery 44%
State's rights 36%
Military action by the north 3%
Military action by the south 2%
Economy [VOL] 5%
Something else 5%
Unsure /Refused 6%

25. In your opinion, should using drugs be treated as a crime or as a health problem?

Crime 30%
Health problem 55%
Unsure /Refused 16%

26. And should we imprison those convicted of non-violent felonies or should we deal with them in ways other than imprisonment?

Imprison 21%
Deal with them in different way 67%
Unsure /Refused 12%

27. Which do you think should be the bigger priority for the criminal justice system today? [READ FIRST TWO CHOICES] [ROTATE]

Strengthening law and order through more police
and greater enforcement of the law 38%
Reducing bias against minorities in the criminal
justice system by reforming court and police practices 49%
Unsure /Refused 13%

The next series of questions is phrased as two opposite statements. Most people will not agree entirely with either statement, but please tell me which statement is CLOSER to your view. [IF UNSURE] Remember that you do not have to agree entirely with the statement.

28. Which is closer to your view: [READ FIRST TWO CHOICES] [ROTATE]

Cutting state taxes would only help the wealthy and
hurt others because services would have to be cut 41%
Cutting state taxes would help all taxpayers and
help the economy grow 52%
Unsure /Refused 7%

29. Which is closer to your view: [READ FIRST TWO CHOICES] [ROTATE]

We should offer tax incentives to businesses to locate
in certain underdeveloped areas in Virginia 61%
Businesses should be treated the same regardless
of where they are located in the Commonwealth 35%
Unsure /Refused 4%

30. Which is closer to your view: [READ FIRST TWO CHOICES] [ROTATE]

Providing free community college tuition to qualifying
students would help Virginians get better jobs 57%
Free community college tuition is a good idea,
but we can't afford it right now 35%
Unsure /Refused 8%

31. Which is closer to your view: [READ FIRST TWO CHOICES] [ROTATE]

Some ideas are so repulsive that we should not allow
people to talk about them or organize marches 20%
Everyone has a right to speak their mind and march
regardless of hate nature of their ideas 78%
Unsure /Refused 3%

32. Code respondent's sex [NOT ASKED]

Male 49%
Female 51%

33. Region

Southwest Virginia 11%
Southside 8%
Shenandoah Valley 7%
Central Virginia/Richmond 20%
Northern Virginia 31%
Tidewater 24%


34. Thanks so much for your patience. I have a few questions about you for statistical purposes. Are you currently married, living with a partner, divorced, separated, widowed, or have you never been married?

Married 66%
Living with partner 3%
Divorced 7%
Separated 1%
Widowed 5%
Never married 18%
Refused 0%

35. How much education have you completed?

Less than high school 1%
High School 13%
Some college/technical school 25%
Associate's Degree 12%
Bachelor's Degree 26%
Advanced Degree 23%
Refused 0%

36. In what year were you born? [CODED INTO CATEGORIES]

18-29 13%
30-44 23%
45-64 46%
65 or older 18%
Refused 1%

37. Are you of Hispanic or Latino origin?

Yes, Hispanic 6%
No, not Hispanic 94%
Refused 1%

38. What is your race? Are you White, African-American, or some other race?

White / Hispanic / Latino 74%
African-American 20%
Other/multi-racial 4%
Refused 2%


39. I'm going to read several income groups. When I come to the group that includes your annual family income, please stop me.

Less than $20,000 5%
$20,000-$35,000 9%
$35,000-$50,000 12%
$50,000-$75,000 16%
$75,000-$100,000 16%
More than $100,000 32%
Refused 10%

40. Politically speaking, do you consider yourself to be liberal, moderate or conservative?

Liberal 24%
Moderate 35%
Conservative 36%
Other/Unsure 3%
Refused 2%

41. And would you describe your political party affiliation as Democrat, Republican, Independent, some other party or no affiliation?

Democrat 35%
Republican 30%
Independent 21%
Other 8%
Refused 5%

41a. [IF INDEPENDENT, OTHER OR REFUSED] As of today, do you lean more toward the Democratic party or toward the Republican party? [RESULTS ARE COMBINED WITH THOSE IN Q. 40]

Democrat 40%
Republican 31%
Neither/Refused 30%

41b.And has your political party affiliation always been a/an <PARTY> or did you used to belong to a different party?

Same party 74%
Different party 24%
Refused 2%

41c. What party did you used to belong to (most recently)?

Democrat 42%
Republican 43%
Independent 10%
Other 2%
Refused 3%


Thank you for your time and have a nice <HOUR1>. If you have any questions or comments about this survey, you may contact Dr. Harry Wilson at (540) 375-2415. You may also contact the Roanoke College Institutional Review Board at (540) 375-2465.