Trump, Biden compete for top spot in polls

A new Roanoke College poll shows they’re tied in Virginia

ROANOKE, VA – Former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden aren’t just neck and neck, according to a new poll by Roanoke College — they’re tied.

42% of people say they’ll vote for Biden and another 42% are leaning towards Trump.

But what about the other 16%?

Well, 14% percent say some other candidate. That could be third party, or even a write-in.

And 2% say they’re undecided. And that could be the deciding votes in November.

“It’s just unheard of,” Senior Political Analyst for The Institute for Policy and Opinion Research Harry Wilson said.

We’re a little less than 6 months out from the election — and only 2% of Virginians don’t know who they’re voting for.

Harry Wilson is a senior political analyst for the poll, and said in 30 years of doing this, he’s never seen these kinds of results.

“We don’t even see 2% two weeks before the election — now we’d expect to be in the neighborhood of about 15,” Wilson said.

It’s rare, and sets us up for an even more contentious election, neither side likely to budge.

“They both have records, there’s not a lot unknown, people have opinions regarding both of them, they’re both equally unfavorable in this poll,” Wilson said.

Third-party votes could make all the difference.

“What we see in elections is they tend most of the time to go back to one of the two major party candidates, not always. And the third party candidates will get some support, but the question is how much?” he said.

But why are people so sure of their decisions?

First, we have to look at the issues.

44% of Virginians polled say they’re most concerned with the economy.

The rest of the issues all fall less than 15% — like immigration, abortion, and foreign affairs.

10 News wanted to see if this was the case in Roanoke, so we went out to ask people.

We spoke with Jada, who agrees the economy is the top concern.

“I haven’t moved out yet, and I’m looking to in the next year, but I’m very concerned I won’t be able to because the housing prices keep going up and up,” Jada said.

She’s also worried about how this election is going to impact women’s rights.

“When it comes to issues regarding Roe v. Wade I know that that opened up a jar of worms for a bunch of other laws,” she said.

We spoke with several other people who say the cost of groceries are a top worry, including Anne Scruggs.

But that’s not the only thing impacting her vote.

“Correct our climate change. We have one world, and we’re messing it up,” Scruggs said.

And one thing that stuck out to us in this poll is that people on both sides are worried about violence following the election.

About the Author

Abbie Coleman officially joined the WSLS 10 News team in January 2023.

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