Virginia voters who elected a Democratic governor and nearly won control of the House of Delegates in 2017 could create another blue wave in this year’s congressional races, according to a poll released Wednesday.
A backlash to President Trump is energizing Democrats, 60 percent of whom are “very enthusiastic” about voting in November, compared with 45 percent of Republicans who say the same, the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University found.
The Wason Center surveyed 1,562 registered Virginia voters. The poll has an overall margin of error of 2.5 percentage points.
The poll also found voters would rather elect a Democrat to Congress than a Republican, when given a generic choice, by 45 percent to 33 percent.
The results are more pronounced among voters who consider themselves moderates, with 49 percent preferring Democrats and 24 percent preferring Republicans.
Voters overall want Democrats to control Congress after the election, 51 percent to 38 percent, the poll found.
“The question is no longer whether there is a blue wave coming, but rather, how high the storm surge will get,” said Rachel Bitecofer, assistant director of the Wason Center. “This enthusiasm gap in favor of Democrats suggests several House seats currently held by Republicans could be in play.”
Voters support two policy positions associated with Democrats. They favor the Dream Act protecting some young people who came to United States illegally as children, by 71 percent to 25 percent, and oppose oil drilling off the coast of Virginia Beach, 54 percent to 37 percent.
However, voters are evenly split on the tax bill, a situation that could help Republicans make a case for their reelection.
Trump has a favorability rating of 35 percent; voters rated Republicans in Congress lower at 28 percent and Democrats higher at 42 percent.
In a state home to many federal workers, voters gave the FBI and Justice Department the highest favorability marks at 63 percent and 53 percent, respectively.
Perhaps due to the president’s criticism of the FBI, less than half of Republicans approve of the FBI, while three-quarters of Democrats and two-thirds of independents approve of the FBI, according to the poll.
Half of voters say they believe people in the Trump campaign coordinated with the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 election, compared with 42 percent of voters who say they do not.