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Roanoke College Poll looks at impeachment, COVID, Northam, Trump and Biden opinions

Roanoke College
Roanoke College
Published: Mar. 2, 2021 at 11:45 AM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ/Roanoke College Release) - Half the respondents in a new poll released by Roanoke College think President Trump’s actions surrounding the January 6 riot were grounds for impeachment, while one-third (33%) think they were improper but not impeachable, and 13% think he did nothing wrong. Half think he should have been convicted by the Senate, and 44% think he should not have been convicted.

The Institute for Policy and Opinion Research interviewed 596 Virginia residents between Feb. 14 and Feb. 27, with the poll having a margin of error of plus or minus 4%.

Click here to see the poll results.

Reflecting on the storming of the U.S. Capitol building, according to the poll, a majority of Virginians (68%) think the anger that led to the protests was not justified at all; 53% think the protestors were mostly violent; and a large majority (84%) see those who stormed and entered the Capitol as criminals. Respondents were more likely to view the anger that fueled last summer’s social justice protests as fully (35%) or partially (37%) justified, and a large majority (91%) view the looting and destruction associated with those protests as not at all justified.

Regarding the November elections, according to the poll results, Virginians think vote counting across the country was very accurate (43%) or mostly accurate (26%), but 27% say it was not very accurate. Similarly, most think that all (52%) or most (20%) of the declared winners truly won the election, but 22% think only some were actual winners.

47% of Virginians approve of the way Joe Biden is handling his job as president, according to the poll, while 30% disapprove. 59% disapprove of the way Donald Trump handled his job, while a quarter (24%) approve. Biden’s favorable/unfavorable rating is 47%/29% while Trump is at 24%/58%.

53% of respondents think the country is on the wrong track while 39% think it is headed in the right direction, which represents more optimism than seen in the November Roanoke College Poll.

More than half of Virginians report having not very much (34%) or no trust at all (25%) in the mass media to report news fully, accurately and fairly. This measure is generally stable over time, according to pollsters.

Job approval for Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam sits at 49%, according to the poll, down slightly from November, while 33% disapprove of his performance. Just over half (52%) of respondents think that Virginia is headed in the right direction, but 40% think it is on the wrong track. Northam is viewed favorably by 41% of respondents and seen unfavorably by 31%. Former Gov. (and current candidate) Terry McAuliffe is seen favorably by 21% of respondents, the same as unfavorable, but almost half (45%) declined to offer an opinion.

More than three-fourths (77%) of Virginia residents know someone who has contracted the novel coronavirus, which has risen steadily from 31% in May 2020, according to the poll. Among those who know someone infected, 10% had the virus themselves while 40% had a family member who was sick, and 43% have a friend or relative who had the virus.

Regarding when the virus may be contained sufficiently to return to “normal,” a plurality of respondents (40%) thinks that will be within a year, while 24% say it will be longer than a year.

Nearly one in five respondents (18%) report having already been vaccinated against COVID, and more than half (54%) say they plan to be vaccinated, but nearly one-fourth (23%) say they will not be vaccinated.

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