Clinton holds 15-point lead over Trump in Virginia

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has more than doubled her lead over her rival, Donald Trump, in Virginia, buoyed by a surge of support from men and voters in the crucial northern part of the battleground state, according to a Wason Center for Public Policy poll released Sunday.

Clinton now leads her Republican opponent 44 percent to 29 percent, a 15-point advantage. She led by 7 points in the Wason Center’s previous poll in late September.

But this survey, conducted Oct. 11 to 14 among 809 likely voters, came after The Washington Post reported on Trump’s recorded lewd comments about women and the second presidential debate when he continued defending his remarks as “locker room” talk.

“The ‘Access Hollywood’ tape, along with Trump’s second debate performance and the turmoil that followed, has fundamentally made Virginia impossible for him to win,” said Quentin Kidd, the Wason Center’s director.

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Last week, the Trump campaign moved some of its Virginia staff members to North Carolina but insisted it was not giving up. Campaign officials did not say how many workers had left the state.

Even with Clinton’s widening lead, the poll showed her overall support increased only two points overall, from 42 to 44, an indication that “while voters are rejecting Trump, they are having a hard time embracing Clinton,” the Wason Center said.

Still, compared with the center’s previous poll, Clinton gained ground in several key demographics.

Among men, Clinton is leading for the first time – 37 to 32 percent. Another first: leading among military families. Support from independents jumped to 39 percent, from 21 percent in late September.

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And in Northern Virginia, Clinton’s support grew by 10 points, while Trump lost six points. She now leads 55 to 21 percent.

“Although shifts in the overall complexion of the race in this survey are modest, changes within some demographic groups are dramatic,” the Wason Center said.

The results were not all grim for the Republican candidate. In southern and southwestern Virginia, support for Trump was up — by one point, to 48 percent.