A new poll is out from Roanoke College and its headline is that “Gov. Youngkin’s approval rating is down six points from February, with 51% of Virginians reporting that they approve of the way he is handling his job as governor (from 57% in February).” Also, “Youngkin’s favorability rating is…down six points to 46% (from 52% in February).” A few other interesting findings include:
- “Among Republicans, the candidates they would most prefer to be the Republican nominee for president are Trump (48%) and DeSantis (28%), with all other candidates in the single digits. Virginia Republicans’ preference for Trump as the first choice is up nine points from February (39%), while the first-choice preference for DeSantis remains unchanged at 28%. We also asked respondents who their second choice would be for the Republican nomination. Among Republicans, the most popular second choices are DeSantis (24%), Pence (20%), Trump (19%), Haley (11%) and Scott (10%), with all other candidates again in single digits.”
- “The poll also asked Virginians who they would vote for if the presidential election were held today in a potential matchup between the two leading candidates in both political parties – Biden and Trump. Biden currently has a 16-point advantage over Trump at 54% to 38%, which is a significant change from our February poll that had Biden at 47% and Trump at 45%. The change is due to a shift among independents, where Biden currently has a 21-point advantage over Trump. As a comparison, our February poll had Biden and Trump in a statistical tie among independents.”
- By a very narrow margin, Virginians believe that the Commonwealth is heading in the “right direction” (48%) vs. the “wrong direction” (45%). This is down sharply from 55%-39% in February.
- Donald Trump gets a 31%-63% (minus 32 points) favorable vs. unfavorable rating in Virginia, while President Biden gets a 43%-52% (minus 9 points) favorable vs. unfavorable rating.
By the way, for some perspective on Youngkin’s 46% favorability rating and 51%-40% (+11 points) approval rating, see here. Here are a few more numbers to look at:
- In October 2019 (a few months later in his term than Youngkin is now), Ralph Northam had a 47%-29% (+18 points) approval rating.
- In February 2015 (a few months earlier in his term than Youngkin is now), Terry McAuliffe had a 49%-25% (+24 points) approval rating.
- In June 2011 (almost the exact same point into his governorship as Youngkin is now), Bob McDonnell had a 55%-26% (+29 points) approval rating.
- In October 2006 (a few months later in his term than Youngkin is now), Tim Kaine had a 77%-19% (+58 points!) approval rating.
- In September 2005 (towards the end of his term), Mark Warner had a 76%-22% (+54 points) approval rating.
- In August 2000 (a year or so later in his term than Youngkin is now), Jim Gilmore had a 70%-20% (+50 points) approval rating.
- In September 1997 (towards the end of his term), George Allen had a 67%-26% (+41 points) approval rating.