Virginia poll: Clinton leads Trump by 15 points

A new poll of Virginia shows Hillary Clinton with a big 15-point lead over Donald Trump in a state that just a few years ago was considered one of the more competitive battlegrounds.

According to the poll, released Monday by Christopher Newport University’s Wason Center, Clinton leads Trump 44% to 29% in a four-way race among likely voters in Virginia. Libertarian Gary Johnson received 11% support, while Green Party candidate Jill Stein received 2% and independent Evan McMullin garnered 3%.

By contrast, Barack Obama carried Virginia over Mitt Romney by just under 4 percentage points in 2012, and by just over 6 percentage points against John McCain in 2008.

The new CNU poll shows that Clinton’s lead over Trump expanded from a 7-percentage point lead she held in early October, when another poll found Clinton leading Trump 42% to 35% in the state at the time.

Growth in Clinton’s lead was driven largely by a collapse in support for Trump across a series of demographic categories, including Republicans, women, younger voters, and military families. Clinton has also made gains with independent voters as Johnson lost ground, in the wake of several high-profile foreign policy gaffes.

The CNU poll also broke down each candidate’s support by geographic region, and found Clinton with a large lead in vote-rich northern Virginia (55% to 21%), the tidewater region (42% to 25%) and the Richmond area (47% to 27%), while Trump maintains a heavy advantage in the state’s more rural southwest (48% to 27%).

The Christopher Newport University poll of Virginia was conducted between October 11-14 and surveyed 809 likely Virginia voters. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 points.

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