More and more Virginians are seemingly waking up to the menace that Donald Trump would pose were he to become commander-in-chief and have access to the nuclear codes. A new CBS News poll has Hillary Clinton in a 12 point lead over Trump in Virginia. Here are excerpts:
The battleground state of Virginia looks a little less like a battleground today, as Hillary Clinton has opened up a lead there of 49 percent to 37 percent, echoing some of the movement seen in national polls this week.Clinton has nearly-unanimous Democratic backing at the moment while Trump isn't doing as well with his fellow Republicans: she has 95 percent of the state's Democrats compared to 79 percent of GOP-ers for Trump. In today's highly partisan electorate, that amounts to a dramatic difference. There isn't a wholesale move of Republicans to Clinton - just 6 percent - but others have drifted into being unsure, or voting third-party, and in what may become a turnout factor down the road, Republicans report lower motivation to vote than before. (However, that also suggests there could be room for Trump to rebound, if some of his partisans return.).
The "Commander-in-Chief" test looms large here, as it has become the top decision-making criteria for voters now. Clinton leads on it: fifty-seven percent say she is prepared while 36 percent say so of Trump. That commander-in-chief measure has become so important that Clinton can lead this race despite performing poorly on many other criteria: thirty-three percent believe she "tells the truth"; fewer than half believe she'll "look out for people like you" despite putting an emphasis on that topic at the Democratic convention, and only 34 percent believe she can bring change to Washington.
Yet with the exception of bringing change - which 67 percent believe Trump can do - Trump does not perform especially well on those measures either, which only underlines how the election has, for many voters, become a relative comparison between the two candidates. About three in ten voters in all these battleground states say they dislike both choices, but are picking one anyway.