Latest Poll Shows Gillespie Ahead of Northam in Virginia Governor's Race

Virginia's Lt. Governor Ralph Northam
Ralph Northam / Getty Images
October 17, 2017

The latest poll in the Virginia gubernatorial race shows former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie ahead by one percentage point over Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D.), who has previously led in the polls.

Tuesday's Monmouth poll has Gillespie at 48 percent and Northam at 47 percent, with Libertarian Cliff Hyra at three percent, and three percent undecided. Monmouth’s September poll showed Northam ahead of Gillespie by five points, 49 percent to 44 percent, and most polls similarly indicated Northam had a healthy lead over his Republican opponent.

Gillespie recently rolled out new ads targeting Northam for being weak on crime and illegal immigration, and 40 percent of responders said they only trust Gillespie on crime. Just 24 percent of responders said the opposite, that they only trust Northam on crime.

"This has never been more than a five-point race in Monmouth’s polling, and that means either candidate has a very real shot at winning this thing," Patrick Murray, the director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said.

Two other polls released on Tuesday, but which were not conducted as recently, showed Northam slightly ahead in an apparently tightening race. A poll conducted by Christopher Newport University showed the Democratic candidate ahead 48 percent to 44 percent, which is within the poll’s margin of error.

A week before, Northam’s lead was 7 points: 49 to 42 percent.

Roanoke College’s poll, however, shows Northam maintaining his lead, 50 to 44 percent. It was conducted Oct. 8 to 13.

The Monmouth poll was conducted Oct. 12 to 16, while the Christopher Newport poll was conducted Oct. 9 to 13.