Poll Has Clinton And Trump Tied In This Critical Battleground State

The 2016 election is still five months away but the race is already beginning to take shape as a new poll shows that Virginia is shaping up to be a hotly contested piece of electoral real estate.

A new poll by Public Policy Polling survey titled “Virginians Support Stronger Gun Measures; Clinton Has Narrow Lead” shows the two presumptive nominees locked in a statistical tie:

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The Presidential race in Virginia is pretty tight. Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump 42-39, with Libertarian Gary Johnson at 6% and Green Party candidate Jill Stein at 2%. In a head to head contest Clinton’s lead remains 3 points at 48/45. Clinton’s benefiting from Democrats in Virginia (83/8) being more unified around her than Republicans (76/5) are around Trump. But with independents Trump’s up 42/29.

On the other hand, a lot of Clinton’s lack of support comes from Sanders supporters that still haven’t given up hope that Bernie can still win the nomination at next month’s Democratic Convention. PPP notes that if only half of those voters were to back Hillary, her lead would expand to a very comfortable 9% over Trump. And that lead should widen every time Trump opens his mouth and says something more horrible than the last time.

Virginia is a bit of a microcosm for the United States. It has a very blue and heavily populated Northeast and a very red and sparsely populated South and Southwest. I can drive south from my phenomenally liberal and racially diverse home in Alexandria and 2 hours later be on a country road in the middle of nowhere nervously listening for banjo music.

This is why, in the same poll, 55% of the state supports a ban on assault weapons (Democrats 75/16 and  independents 49/41 for with Republicans 35/47 against) but also, “18% of voters with a favorable opinion of Trump think Barack Obama might have been involved in the terrorist attack in Orlando on Monday, and another 23% of them say they aren’t sure one way or another. Only 59% explicitly rule out Obama involvement.” I guess we should be thankful that a majority of them are not completely insane?

The bottom line is that Virginia is going to be a brutal slugfest for both candidates, with Clinton appealing to liberals to get out and vote for progress and Trump appealing to rednecks to get out and vote for hate.

Photos by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images and Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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