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Wason Poll Shows Biden Ahead In Virginia Leading Up To Super Tuesday

Screenshot of Wason Center Poll
Screenshot of Wason Center Poll

A new poll out of Christopher Newport University’s Wason Center For Public Policy shows Joe Biden leading Virginia’s Super Tuesday field, followed by Bernie Sanders and Mike Bloomberg.

The poll surveyed 866 registered voters between Feb. 3-23, including 561 who said they plan to vote in Tuesday’s primary election. Twenty-two percent of those polled favor former Vice President Joe Biden. Seventeen percent favor Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and 13 percent support former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

Rachel Bitecofer, assistant director of the Wason Center, said because Bloomberg has opted to stay out of the first four contests, he could blunt the momentum of some candidates after Saturday’s primary in South Carolina.

“We’re going to find out in real time, about 14 contests where Bloomberg suddenly pops up,” Bitecofer said. “And our polls suggest he’s going to be potentially competitive for delegates and a problem, likely for Biden.”

Biden is the front-runner going into Saturday’s contest in South Carolina.

The vast majority of likely primary voters surveyed in the Wason Center poll, 82 percent, said they would probably support the party’s nominee this November, even if their preferred candidate doesn’t win the nomination.

Bitecofer said voters in the statewide poll were also asked if they would vote to reelect President Donald Trump.

“Trump is just not not well-liked in Virginia. Only 38 percent of voters said they would re-elect him,” she said. Fifty-nine percent went with someone else and almost no one was undecided about it.”

President Trump lost Virginia by more than 5 points to Hillary Clinton in 2016.

The statewide poll also asked voters about their thoughts on private health insurance plans and student loan debt. A majority of voters, 67 percent, favor reducing student loan debt, but not cancelling it outright. And a majority, 60 percent, prefer to maintain the current private health insurance system, rather than replacing it with something like Medicare for All.

Virginia is one of more than a dozen states and U.S. territories holding contests on Tuesday, March 3.

Whittney Evans is VPM News’ features editor.