ROANOKE (WSLS 10) -A new poll from the University of Mary Washington shows the gap between presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump continues to narrow.
The poll surveyed 1,006 Virginia adults.
Clinton received 40-percent of the vote compared to Trump’s 37-percent.
That is within a margin of error.
Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson received 8-percent of the vote.
Independent candidate Evan McMullin received 3-percent.
An additional one-percent of voters said they would vote for Green Party candidate Jill Stein.
With such a tight race between the two front runners, a combined 12-percent of votes going to third parties could make a difference between who squeezes the win of delegates.
WSLS 10’s political analyst Dr. Ed Lynch says a high number of third party voters could mean a political shakeup.
“Most of the good news in this poll is for republicans. Number one, because the state is competitive again. Anytime you can make a home state of either a presidential candidate or a vice presidential candidate for the other side competitive, it means that you are likely to make other states competitive you didn’t expect as well,” Lynch said.
Lynch says traditionally Libertarian voters are pulled from republican voters. That doesn’t appear to be the case in this election.
Lynch says libertarian candidate Gary Johnson is taking more votes away from Clinton rather than Trump.
Lynch says perceived health issues with Clinton are not helping her campaign.
“The various stories that we are told about her illness has played into the Hillary Clinton narrative that she is secretive, that her first instinct is to cover up, to misdirect, to put it baldly, to deceive,” Lynch said.
“As one pundit put it, she can get over pneumonia, most people do. Getting over being untrustworthy is a lot more difficult. Even before this latest illness, something like 60-percent of the American people did not find her trustworthy.”
Lynch says there is no indication from the tracking polls that her number of voters have stopped dropping. He says the next few days will be a crucial indicator.