Home Virginia Politics New Wason Center Poll Finds “pent-up demand among voters for a...

New Wason Center Poll Finds “pent-up demand among [Virginia] voters for a lot of the Democrats’ policy agenda”

Northam's approval back to 52%-36%; Virginia voters *really* dislike payday and car-title lenders

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New polling out this morning, from the Wason Center for Public Policy at CNU, finds “pent-up demand among [Virginia] voters for a lot of the Democrats’ policy agenda.” See below for the Wason Center’s press release and for the more-detailed numbers, including a few not mentioned in the press release like:

  • “Voters give Governor Ralph Northam a 52%-36% approval-disapproval rating (Q4), which continues his recovery from the low of 40% in the April 2019 Wason Center poll, which was conducted soon after the ‘blackface’ scandal broke.”
  • ” Voters feel roughly the opposite about the job President Donald Trump is doing (Q3), with 42% saying they approve and 55% saying they disapprove.”
  • “Attorney General Mark Herring (Q5) has a 36%-27% approval-disapproval rating among Virginia voters, down
    significantly from 42%-17% a year ago but not significantly changed from the April 2019 survey taken soon after he admitted wearing a blackface costume in college in 1980.”
  • “Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax’s approval-disapproval rating (Q6) has equalized at 32%-32%, a much higher negative than 35%-13% a year ago, but not significantly changed from the April 2019 survey conducted soon after he was accused of sexual assaults in 2000 and 2004 – accusations he forcefully denies.”
  • “By a 10-point margin, 51%-41%, voters approve of the results of the November elections that gave Democrats control of both houses of the General Assembly.”
  • “Virginia voters have largely negative views (Q20A and
    Q20B) of payday lenders (64% very or somewhat negative versus 2% somewhat positive) and car title lenders (55% very or somewhat negative versus 4% very or somewhat positive), and 75% say they should be more regulated (Q22), while 7% say they should not. By 84% to 6%, Virginia voters say annual interest rates on payday loans and car title loans should be capped at a lower rate than their current rates (Q23). By 72% to 17%, Virginia voters say they support or strongly support a proposal to cap the interest rates on payday and title loans at 36 percent, plus a monthly service fee (Q24).”
  • Virginia voters oppose, by a 51%-44% margin, “e proposals to allow 21 days of no-excuse absentee voting before Election Day to make it easier to vote.” That’s surprising. Turns out this was surprising because the Wason Center made a big mistake. They tweeted a few hours after their press release, saying, “FYI, we had an issue in our first report that reported wrong data from the no-excuse absentee balloting issue. Correct numbers are 74% support, 23% oppose. Corrected reports are being distributed. Please cite corrected data.”

Virginia voters back gun control, ERA, minimum wage hike, marijuana decriminalization and redistricting reform, but oppose local control over Confederate monuments  

NEWPORT NEWS — The new Democratic majority in the Virginia General Assembly has strong support among voters for key parts of its agenda, including enacting more gun restrictions, passing the Equal Rights Amendment, increasing the minimum wage and decriminalizing marijuana possession, according to a new poll by the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University.  Voters also support passage of the state constitutional amendment to create a redistricting commission, reforming the system that allows legislators to drawn their own districts. But voters don’t want the legislature to give local governments authority to decide whether to remove or alter Confederate monuments.

“This survey suggests there’s pent-up demand among voters for a lot of the Democrats’ policy agenda,” said Wason Center Director Quentin Kidd. “There’s pent-up demand in the Democrats’ caucus, too, and it will be revealing to see what legislation the new majority prioritizes now that they’re in power.”

The 2020 General Assembly session opens Jan. 8. For the first time in a generation, Democrats will be in full control, with majorities in the House of Delegates and the state Senate and a Democratic governor.

A copy of the survey is attached. Here are the highlights:

  • Voters strongly support requiring background checks on all gun sales (86%-13%) and passing a ‘red flag’ law (73%-23%); a slight majority (54%-44%) support banning assault-style weapons.
  • Voters strongly back the Equal Rights Amendment (80%-13%).
  • A slight majority oppose giving localities authority to remove or alter Confederate monuments (51%-44%).
  • Voters strongly support decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana (83%-14%).
  • Voters strongly support raising the minimum wage (72%-28%)
  • Voters strongly support automatic voter registration (64%-31%), but slightly oppose no-excuse absentee voting (51%-44%) The Wason Center tweeted, several hours after their initial press release went out, “FYI, we had an issue in our first report that reported wrong data from the no-excuse absentee balloting issue. Correct numbers are 74% support, 23% oppose. Corrected reports are being distributed. Please cite corrected data.”
  • Voters strongly support passage of the redistricting reform constitutional amendment (70%-15%).

The Wason Center conducted 901 interviews of registered Virginia voters, November 11-22, 2019. The margin of error for the survey is +/- 3.4 %.