Democrats have received another wake-up call as the November election approaches. A recent Roanoke College poll shows former President Donald Trump and current President Joe Biden tied in the traditionally blue state of Virginia, each garnering 42% support in a head-to-head matchup. This marks the first time the Roanoke College Poll has shown a tie between the two candidates in this blue-leaning state, signaling a competitive race as the 2024 presidential election nears.

The Institute for Policy and Opinion Research at Roanoke College conducted the poll, surveying 711 likely voters in Virginia between May 12 and May 21, 2024. In a head-to-head matchup, both Biden and Trump each received 42% support. When other candidates are included, Biden holds a narrow lead with 40% to Trump’s 38%. A key takeaway from the poll is the high level of certainty and enthusiasm among voters, indicating a competitive race as the 2024 presidential election approaches.

In the 2020 presidential election, Biden won Virginia by a margin of 10 percentage points over the incumbent, Donald Trump, securing 54% of the vote compared to Trump’s 44%. This result continued Virginia’s trend of leaning Democratic in presidential elections, a pattern consistent since 2008.

In the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton won Virginia by a smaller margin of 5.3 percentage points against Trump, with Clinton receiving 49% of the vote to Trump’s 44%. This established Virginia as a battleground state, albeit with a slight Democratic tilt.

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In the poll, 64% of likely voters are very certain of their vote choice, and another 28% are somewhat certain. Additionally, 52% of respondents are very enthusiastic about voting, with another 27% somewhat enthusiastic. The economy emerged as the most critical issue for voters, cited by 44% of respondents. Other significant issues include immigration (14%), abortion (13%), foreign affairs (8%), and crime (5%). The poll also highlighted voter perceptions regarding the legitimacy of past elections.

A majority of likely voters, 63%, believe Biden legitimately won the 2020 election, while 34% think his victory was due to election irregularities. In contrast, nearly three-fourths of respondents believe Trump legitimately won the 2016 election, with 21% attributing his victory to alleged collusion with Russia. These perceptions are highly partisan: 94% of Republicans affirm Trump’s 2016 win as legitimate compared to 53% of Democrats, while 91% of Democrats recognize Biden’s 2020 win as legitimate compared to only 29% of Republicans, the poll found.

Biden’s job approval rating is at a dismal 35%, with a disapproval rating of 61%, matching his all-time high disapproval rating from February. The poll revealed a stark contrast in perceptions of the direction of the country versus the commonwealth. While 53% believe Virginia is headed in the right direction, a significant 70% think the country is on the wrong track.

Disclaimer: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.