Home 2021 Elections Roanoke College Poll Has McAuliffe +7, Ayala +5, Herring +10, But…Take This...

Roanoke College Poll Has McAuliffe +7, Ayala +5, Herring +10, But…Take This One with a Large Grain/Pillar of Salt


I’m not a big fan of Roanoke College polling (four years ago, their final poll of the Virginia governor’s race had it *tied* between Republican Ed Gillespie and Democrat Ralph Northam, who went on to win by 9 points) but we’ll throw this one into the mix anyway…

  • Terry McAuliffe up 7 points (48%-41%); Hala Ayala up 5 points (45%-40%); Mark Herring up 10 points (47%-37%).
  • Most important issues: Economy/Jobs/Unemployment 21%; COVID 19%; Race relations/Social justice 6%; Healthcare 6%; Education 4%; Abortion/Morality 4%;
    Environment/Climate change 3%; Voting rights 3%; Gun Control/Second Amendment 3%; Police 2%; Crime 2%; Transportation/Infrastructure 1%; Marijuana 1%; Afghanistan 1%
  • This is very weird; when asked, “who did you vote for in 2017 for Governor of Virginia?,” respondents break Northam 55%-Gillespie 38%. In fact, Northam won by 8.9 points, not 17 points (note: only 77% say they recall voting in the 2017 election).
  • Also weird: the educational breakdown in this poll seems far too tilted towards those with college and advanced degrees, and not enough towards those with a high school degree or “some college/tech/Associate’s.”
  • Gov. Northam’s approval rating is 55%-40% (+15 points) in this poll.
  • President Biden’s approval rating is 50%-45% (+5 points) in this poll.
  • Terry McAuliffe’s favorable rating in this poll is +13 points (50%-37%), while Glenn Youngkin’s is -1 point (40%-41%).
  • By a 9-point margin (52%-43%), voters think things are going in the right direction here in Virginia.
  • Only 11% say they definitely will NOT get vaccinated for COVID-19.
  • By a 59%-33% margin, voters think “the United States’ decision to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan was the right decision.”
  • On abortion, voters break down as follows: “Legal in all cases” 30%; “Legal in most cases” 32%; “Illegal in most cases” 24%; “Illegal in all cases” 8%. So basically, a small percentage agree with Glenn Youngkin’s position on this issue, while McAuliffe’s in the majority.

Bottom line: Sure, throw this one into the mix, but take it with a major grain/pillar of salt, because Roanoke College polling is often/usually weird and wacky, as it is in this case.



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