VIRGINIA BEACH (WAVY) — With less than two weeks to go before Election Day, both major Democratic nominees on the ticket in Virginia’s Second Congressional District, Congresswoman Elaine Luria and presidential candidate Joe Biden, are up in the polls among registered voters.
A poll by the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University released Wednesday shows Luria, the incumbent, is up 50%-43% against former Rep. Scott Taylor (R), who Luria defeated in 2018. The candidates squared off Tuesday night in the first of two debates this week. The Hampton Roads Chamber is hosting a 2nd District Congressional Debate on October 22.
The CNU poll shows Luria has built large leads among women (56% to 38%), Black voters (80% to 11%) and independent voters (55% to 21%).
That independent voter could be key in the race, with 34% of voters surveyed considering themselves independent, compared to 31% identifying as Republicans and 30% identifying as Democrats.
The Wason Center interviewed 807 registered Virginia voters for the survey from October 8-18, with a margin of error of 3.8%.
Luria, who also has a +38 favorability rating (60% to 22%), also has a 9 point lead among voters 45 and older, the poll shows. Taylor has a -5 favorability rating (44%-49%), which was impacted by his 2018 campaign election fraud scandal, CNU says. Taylor’s up among non college-educated voters (51% to 43%) and has a slight lead among voters 18-44 (46% to 44%). He’s also up among men (49% to 44%) and white voters (49% to 46%).
Meanwhile Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is up by 9 points on President Trump in the 2nd District (49%-40%). CNU says Biden’s numbers closely mirror Luria’s, with Biden up 52% to 16% among independent voters.
Trump won the 2nd District by 3% over Hillary Clinton in 2016, 48% to 45%, though lost the statewide vote by more than 5%.
Though 19% of 2nd District voters said the coronavirus pandemic was the most pressing issue this year, the economy was still the No. 1 issue for most (24%). Health care was third at 13%.
The district and region both have a military focus, with Taylor and Luria both Navy veterans, but at the moment national security lags behind the other topics in importance for voters, CNU says.
“Considering the heavy military presence throughout the region and with both candidates emphasizing their Navy service, it’s notable that only 7 percent of voters say national security is an issue that drives their vote,” said Wason Center Academic Director Quentin Kidd.