See below for the press release from a new poll from the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University. As usual, Virginia is not looking particularly conservative, at least in terms of its views on the issues and key political figures.
Virginia voters back Amazon deal, sports betting, ERA ratification and constitutional amendment for independent redistricting commission
NEWPORT NEWS — A new survey of Virginia voters by the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University suggests that voters are ready for change on longstanding issues in the General Assembly session that opens Jan. 9, and they want some of the state’s projected tax windfall returned to their pockets.
By more than two to one, Virginia voters approve of the deal that will bring part of Amazon’s east coast headquarters to Virginia. Overall, 68% approve and 30% disapprove.
Voters support legalizing sports betting (63%) and casinos (58%) and want any related tax revenue to support education and the general fund. But 43% worry that legalization will promote gambling addiction.
Across party lines and demographic groups, a very strong majority of voters (81%) supports ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment in the 2019 session. Virginia would be the 38th state to ratify the ERA. That would reach the threshold by which the ERA would become part of the U.S. Constitution, but opponents argue the deadline for passage expired in 1982.
“The legal standing of ratification may be murky, but Virginia voters are very clear that they want the 2019 General Assembly to pass the ERA,” said Dr. Quentin Kidd, director of the Wason Center.
A very strong majority of voters (78%) supports amending Virginia’s Constitution to transfer the power to draw new political districts from the General Assembly to an independent commission.
With Virginia expecting state tax collections to increase as much as $600 million due to federal tax changes, voters like the idea of general tax cut (75%) or a tax credit for low-income to moderate-income Virginians (62%). Asked to choose, they slightly favor the tax cut (49%) over the tax credit (46%).
Voters gave Gov. Ralph Northam high marks, with 59% approving of his job performance and 24% disapproving. By contrast, 35% approve of President Donald Trump’s job performance and 57% disapprove.
The Wason Center conducted 841 interviews of registered Virginia voters, including 294 on landline and 547 on cell phone, Nov. 14-30. The survey’s overall margin of error is +/- 3.7%. Subgroups are higher.