SALEM, Va., Oct. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Republican state Senator Robert Hurt holds a six-point lead (46%-40%) over Democratic incumbent Tom Perriello in Virginia's Fifth Congressional district according to a poll conducted by the Institute for Policy and Opinion Research at Roanoke College. Independent candidate Jeffrey Clark is a distant third with 1% of the vote, and 13% remain undecided with two weeks until Election Day.
The poll includes interviews conducted with 567 likely voters in the Fifth Congressional district between October 5 and October 14. The Poll has a margin of error of +/- 4.1 percent.
Perriello holds a slight advantage among undecided voters, 19%-16%, while 92% of Hurt's supporters and 86% of Perriello's supporters say it is very certain they will vote for that candidate. Hurt's voters were more likely to have paid a lot of attention to the campaign (54%-42%) and are more likely to be very interested in the campaign (66%-50%). The majority (80%) of those who are undecided said they are very likely to vote. The undecided voters also trend toward being Independents who are moderate or conservative.
The economy is the dominant issue in the campaign with jobs running second and health care third. Those who said the economy was most important support Hurt (51%-34%) as do those who cited jobs (48%-41%), while those who named health care support Perriello (51%-34%).
The Poll also asked about the impact of the NRA's endorsement of Perriello, a potentially important factor for an electorate in which 61% of respondents reside in a household that contains a firearm. A majority of respondents said it made no difference to them (80%), while the rest were almost evenly split between saying it made them more likely to vote for Perriello (11%) or less likely to vote for him (9%).
"These results suggest that it will be very difficult for Rep. Perriello to retain his seat," said Dr. Harry Wilson, the director of the Institute for Policy and Opinion Research. "Perriello has to hope for a very large turnout among the core Democratic voters as well as the so-called 'Obama voters.' That said, the race is certainly not yet over."
More information, methodology, the questionnaire and all frequencies are available at http://roanoke.edu/News_and_Events/Campus_News/2010_Roanoke_College_Poll.htm.
SOURCE Roanoke College