As we expected, Ed Gillespie is closing the gap on Ralph Northam in the final weeks of the campaign.
In the latest Monmouth poll, Gillespie leads by one point over Northam, 48% to 47%. Last month Northam was in the lead by 5%.
The poll found the Republican nominee has gained ground on some key campaign issues, particularly in conservative and swing areas of the state. Among all Virginia voters, Gillespie is preferred over Northam on handling jobs and the economy by a 41% to 29% margin, which is slightly better than his 38% to 33% edge on this concern in September. In particular, Gillespie now has a 43% to 24% advantage on the jobs issue in Eastern Virginia, reversing a 31% to 37% deficit there last month.
Gillespie also maintains his advantage on handling crime – 40% of Virginia voters prefer the Republican and 24% choose the Democrat. Gillespie had a 35%-27% edge on this issue in September. He has enjoyed big gains on this concern in Western Virginia, where he now holds a 55% to 13% advantage over Northam. Last month, Gillespie had a smaller 41%-26% advantage on the crime issue in this region.
“In last week’s debate, Northam made a specific appeal to voters in the western part of the state on issues such as education and health care. It doesn’t appear to have worked,” said Patrick Murray (director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.)
Complete poll details here.