Trump, Clinton lead Virginia in new poll
The new data from Christopher Newport University's Wason Center for Public Policy show Trump winning the field among likely GOP primary voters with 28 percent of the vote. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio places second second with 22 percent, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz shows with 19 percent.
On the Democratic side, Clinton leads Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders 52 to 40 percent.
But the leading candidates also carry high negatives.
Sixty-four percent of all voters surveyed have a negative opinion of Trump, compared with 30 percent who view him favorably. Fifty-nine percent of voters have an unfavorable view of Clinton.
The only candidate Virginia voters give higher favorable than unfavorable ratings to on either side is Marco Rubio: 40 percent have a positive opinion of him, against 38 percent who do not.
In his analysis of the poll, Wason Center director Quentin Kidd said: "Almost all voters have an opinion about Donald Trump, and twice as many see him in an unfavorable light as view him favorably.
"On the other side," he said, "Hillary Clinton has a majority among likely Democratic primary voters, even though Bernie Sanders has a higher favorability rating overall."
Looking at the leaders in each primary, Kidd said: "While Trump is leading in Virginia, Rubio and Cruz are within striking distance." He called rest of the Republican field "very long shots at this point, two weeks out."
Kidd added that Clinton has not trailed in any of the Wason Center's polls in the past year, although the size of her advantage over Sanders has ebbed and flowed.
In January, 2015, Clinton led the Democratic field with 65-percent support. By October of last year, her support had dropped to 40 percent, as speculation that Vice President Joe Biden might launch a bid for the Party's nomination reached its peak.
"Virginia Democrats continue to be hesitant on Clinton," Kidd said, adding that her lead remains "solid," with "only a small percentage of undecided voters left."
The poll was conducted Feb. 3 though 14. The survey has a 4.3-percentage-point margin of error.