Donald Trump may have a shot at winning Virginia

The last time the Commonwealth of Virginia supported a Republican presidential candidate was in 2004, when then-President George W. Bush capped off 10 consecutive wins for the GOP in the Old Dominion, but former President Donald Trump has a shot at reversing that trend this November.

Once considered a perennial swing state, Virginia has tilted ever so slightly toward the Democratic Party in recent elections. Former President Barack Obama won the state in 2008 and in 2012, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton carried the state in her losing campaign in 2016, and President Joe Biden won the state in 2020 by a 10-point margin. In statewide elections, Republicans have fared slightly better, winning races for governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general in 2009 and 2021, while Democrats won the same positions in 2013 and 2017. Democrats have held both Senate seats since 2006.

By any metric, Virginia has not been competitive at the national level in more than a decade. When Trump won the presidency without the state in 2016, he became the first Republican to do so since William Howard Taft in 1908.

It is amid this backdrop that a new poll from Roanoke College shows the presidential election in the state tied. Biden and Trump both registered 42% support in the new poll, while the president opens up a slim 2-point advantage when third-party candidates such as Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Cornel West, and Jill Stein are included.

For a state that has hardly been competitive for Republicans in recent cycles, the poll results are nothing short of astounding. If Biden fails to carry Virginia in November, his path to 270 electoral votes and a second term in the White House is practically nonexistent, given his polling in other swing states.

The poll’s result is all the more notable given the propensity of polling to severely underestimate support for Trump. In 2020, polling overestimated Biden’s support in Virginia by a few points, but polling averages were pretty accurate in 2016.

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The former president and his campaign should be looking for any avenue to expand the electoral map and force the Biden team to spend resources on states that would otherwise be considered safe Democratic territory. The Trump campaign has argued for several weeks that Virginia is in play, and this latest poll validates their claim.

For the past 3 1/2 years, Biden’s policies have severely hurt the well-being of the people of Virginia. Housing prices have soared, inflation has hurt bank accounts, and illegal immigration has strained local infrastructure and resources. Voters in the commonwealth are fed up with it and may turn the state bright red come November.

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