RICHMOND — Democrat Hillary Clinton slightly widened her lead over Republican Donald Trump in Virginia as millennial voters moved away from third-party presidential candidates, according to the first statewide survey of likely votes since last week’s debate.
Clinton has a seven-point advantage over Trump in the critical swing state in a survey released Monday by the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University.
She leads 42 percent to Trump’s 35 percent — up from a Wason Center poll released Sept. 26, in which Clinton had 39 percent to Trump’s 33 percent.
“Hillary Clinton’s debate performance has improved her position in Virginia slightly,” said Quentin Kidd, director of the Wason Center. “Most significant is perhaps her improved support among younger voters, a critical part of the Obama coalition.”
Millennial voters, ages 18 to 34, moved toward Clinton and away from the Libertarian ticket and other third-party candidates, the survey found. The former secretary of state’s support among those voters has grown from 34 percent in the September survey to 41 percent.
Clinton’s support among independents also grew — from 21 percent to 34 percent. That increase came largely at the expense of Libertarian Gary Johnson. His support among independents dropped 11 points, from 31 percent in September to 20 percent in this survey.
The survey was conducted Sept. 27-30 among 892 likely Virginia voters, with an overall margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.