Trump Emerges as a Serious Contender Against Biden in Virginia

Former President of the US Donald Trump and President of the US Joe Biden | Credits: Getty Images
Former President of the US Donald Trump and President of the US Joe Biden | Credits: Getty Images

United States: President Biden stance in Virginia also appears to weakening which may indicate efforts that are thought to be impossible for Democrats who once boasted about their supremacy in the state having gained the state’s presidency vote ever since Obama in 2008.

According to a Roanoke College poll that was polling the population recently, Biden and the ex-president shared the same percentage of 42% in Virginia, according to The Hill.

Other polls of the last month have been assessing higher chances for Biden; however, in the Decision Desk HQ polling average, Biden has 44%. On average, Kim won 1 percent of the votes compared to Trump’s 43.1 percent.

This nonetheless represents a reversal from the events of 2020 when Biden comfortably secured the state, which poses the risk that Democrats could potentially be facing stiff competition this fall in Virginia, which is a state that Biden cannot afford to lose.

“Biden isn’t performing as robustly as he did in 2020 when he captured Virginia by a 10-point margin. However, he’s likely still ahead by a few points,” stated Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

“If Virginia emerges as a battleground this fall, it’s an ominous indicator for Biden, given that Virginia leans more Democratic than several pivotal swing states.”

Sabato mentioned that various factors could influence the state’s dynamics, ranging from Trump’s conviction in his New York hush money trial to the upcoming debate between the two contenders.

The Democratic stronghold over the Northern Virginia suburbs surrounding Washington has been pivotal in maintaining their dominance in Virginia over recent election cycles. Biden outpaced Trump in Virginia by nearly half a million votes four years ago, and Hillary Clinton secured a 5-point victory over Trump in 2016.

Strategists observe that while Virginia is not a premier swing state, it holds potential for competitiveness.

“It’s not at the forefront of battleground states, but it’s knocking at the door,” commented Zack Roday, a Virginia-based GOP strategist, as highlighted by The Hill.

In 2021, Republicans achieved significant victories when Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) won the gubernatorial race, and the House of Delegates majority reverted to GOP control.

However, since 2021, Virginia Democrats have bounced back, securing multiple special election victories and regaining full control of the General Assembly in 2023.

Virginia-based Republican strategist Tucker Martin expressed skepticism about the state’s viability for the GOP at the presidential level, attributing the close polling more to Biden’s vulnerabilities as a candidate.

“Gravity will ultimately favor Biden in Virginia,” Martin noted, highlighting the Democratic tilt of the state’s population centers. “But relying on political gravity in Virginia is cold comfort for Democrats, as it spells trouble in critical battleground states.”

“If Biden is tied at 42 in Virginia, I’d expect he’s trailing in Wisconsin, Nevada, and Michigan,” he added.

Conversely, the Trump campaign asserts that Biden’s frailty extends beyond Virginia and traditional battleground states, reaching historically Democratic bastions like Minnesota and New Jersey.

“Joe Biden is so enfeebled, and Democrats are in such disarray, that President Trump is not only leading in all traditional battleground states but also making inroads in long-standing blue states such as Minnesota, Virginia, and New Jersey,” said Trump campaign spokesperson Karoline Leavitt. “President Trump is advancing with a compelling message and expanding his movement daily. Biden’s campaign should be deeply concerned.”

Trump campaign senior adviser Chris LaCivita recently told NBC News that Trump has “a genuine opportunity to broaden the map in Virginia and Minnesota.”

Former President of the US – Donald Trump | Credits: Getty Images

Nonetheless, some Republicans remain doubtful. They point out that Trump garnered just under 44 percent of the vote in Virginia in both 2016 and 2020, indicating a ceiling for his support.

“The key figure is that he’s tied at 42,” Martin remarked, referencing the Roanoke College poll. “Unless you see a poll showing him at 46 or 47, I don’t think Trump has the numbers. But again, this isn’t a must-win state for him,” as The Hill reported.

Biden is slated to hold a fundraiser on June 18 in Virginia, accompanied by former President Clinton, adding star power to a major donor event. The fundraiser will be hosted by former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), who lost to Youngkin in the DC suburbs of Virginia.

The president’s campaign inaugurated a campaign office in Hampton, Va., in May, targeting a crucial swing area north of Norfolk to enhance its outreach in Virginia. Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) participated in the office opening, and at the time, the campaign emphasized that Trump has “zero campaign presence in the commonwealth.”

With history favoring them, Democrats remain hopeful that their recent dominance in Virginia will continue into November.

“One of the least reported political narratives is that over the past two decades, the Virginia Democratic Party has built one of the nation’s most consistently prepared and battle-ready political machines,” said Ivan Zapien, a former Democratic National Committee official. “Regardless of what the polls indicate, they are poised to deliver Virginia to Biden and Democrats across the ticket this year.”

Yet, Republicans argue that Biden’s lower-than-expected poll numbers in Virginia might compel national Democrats to allocate more resources to the state than anticipated. This scenario could also alert the state’s down-ballot Democrats, such as Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), who is favoured for re-election, to remain vigilant, as reported by The Hill.

“You want to secure these races, both state and US Senate, early because it’s always about resource allocation when you have a broad electoral map in a presidential year,” Roday stated.