A brand-new poll by the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University (CNU) is out this morning. Here are some key findings.
- According to the Wason Center summary, “In the wake of his ‘blackface’ scandal, Governor Ralph Northam’s popularity among registered voters has plummeted 19 points since December. At 40%, Northam’s approval rating is lower than President Trump’s 44%.” That’s a strange spin, as when you look at the numbers from the poll, Gov. Northam’s net approval rating (40%-49%, or -9 points) is actually NOT worse than Trump’s (-10 points). Among Dems, Northam is at 62%-29%, while he’s at only 18%-71% among Republicans. Among African Americans, Northam’s at 57%-34%.
- “Asked if Northam should resign, a slight majority says he should stay in office
(52%-42%). In his own party, 29% of Democrats say he should resign.” In other words, attitudes towards Northam are heavily partisan.
- 42% of Virginians say that Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax should resign, while 45% say he should stay in office. By a 56%-36% margin, African Americans say he should stay in office, while whites say he should resign, by a slight (44%-43%) margin. Among Dems, 33% think Fairfax should resign, while 52% think he should stay in office. Among women, 38% think he should resign vs. 50% who think he should stay in office.
- Only 28% of Virginians think AG Mark Herring should resign, including just 8% of Democrats vs. 46% of Republicans. Among African Americans, 69% think Herring should stay in office, while just 25% think he should resign.
- “Asked which party cares about the middle class, the working class, the poor, African Americans, women, men, and children, voters choose Democrats in every category but one. Voters say Republicans care about men.”
- Sen. Mark Warner gets a 50%-40% (+10 points) approval rating and Sen. Kaine 48%-36% (+12 points).
- Trump’s approval rating is 44%-54% (-10 points), including just 3% of Democrats who approve of him “somewhat” (and none “strongly”) vs. 91% of Republicans who approve of him (63% “strongly”).
- Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax’s net approval rating (31%-35%, or -4 points) also varies widely based on partisan lean. Among Dems, Fairfax is at 49%-22% (+27 points), whereas among Republicans, he’s at 15%-52% (-37 points). Among African Americans, Fairfax is at 47%-18% (+29 points). Among women, he’s at 35%-29% (+6 points).
- AG Mark Herring’s net approval rating is at 38%-28% (+10 points), including 56%-14% (+42 points!) among Democrats and 25%-44% (-19 points) among Republicans. Among African Americans, Herring is at 54%-14% (+40 points).
- Regarding the November elections for Virginia House of Delegates, right now Democrats have a slight (43%-39%) edge in the “generic ballot.” Basically, Republicans are almost totally (93%-1%) united for Republican candidates, while Democrats are likewise united (92%-1%) for Democratic candidates. So it’s going to be heavily about which side’s base turns out in greater numbers, in what is traditionally a *very* low-turnout off/odd election year.
- Regarding abortion, only 9% of Virginians believe that it should be illegal with no exceptions for rape, incest or the life/health of the mother. On the other hand, only 12% believe it should “unrestricted and legal in all cases.” On this one, most people are somewhere in between: 32% say “Abortion should be legal in the 1st trimester, but only legal in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters due to rape, incest, or the health of the mother”; 24% say “Abortion should be illegal at any stage of pregnancy except in cases of rape, incest, or the health of the mother”; 20% say “Abortion should be legal in all cases, but with some limitations on it in late stages of pregnancy.” So basically, on the “Kathy Tran bill,” it looks like we’ve got the vast majority supporting it, since it’s all about a non-viable fetus in very rare, tragic circumstances and/or where the life/health of the mother is in jeopardy. Of course, Republicans continue to wildly – and cynically – mischaracterize what Tran’s bill was all about, in order to fire up their “base.” But the polling numbers simply don’t indicate that many Virginians are against rare, late-term abortions where the fetus isn’t viable and/or the life/health of the mother is in severe danger.