Poll: Youngkin approval up, Biden approval down, majority of Virginians support abortion in some capacity

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Virginia State Capitol(wdbj7)
Published: Jun. 3, 2022 at 10:54 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - A Roanoke College poll found a majority of Virginians approve of the job Governor Glenn Youngkin has done in his nearly five months in office, while approval of Joe Biden’s presidency continues to dip across the Commonwealth.

The poll, which was conducted by Roanoke College, surveyed Virginians on a variety of topics such as the war in Ukraine, abortion, political anxiety and general feelings about current and former elected officials.

The poll found that Governor Glenn Youngkin’s approval rating has increased to 53% from 50% in February, while disapproval, at 35%, down from 41% in February. More Democrats (41%) approve of Youngkin’s performance now than they did three months ago (30%), Youngkin’s approval among republicans dipped to 75%, down from 84% in February.

President Joe Biden’s approval rating in the Commonwealth dropped to 37%, down from the previous low of 41%. The poll found that the decline was across all Virginians regardless of political affiliation. Biden’s favorability rating among Virginians fell to 38%, while 56% of Virginians view him unfavorably. Former President Donald Trump’s favorability among Virginians continues to be low at 34%, while 59% of Virginians view the former president unfavorably. Only 21% of Virginians say that things are going in the right direction while 77% say that things have gotten off on the wrong track, which is the second-lowest “right direction” rating in the Poll’s history

One topic a majority of Virginians agree on is abortion. The poll found that 88% of Virginians think abortion should be legal in some capacity, up from 77% seven years ago, while only 11% of Virginians believe abortion should be completely illegal. Specifically, the poll found that 35% of Virginians felt that abortion should be legal under any circumstances, up from 31% in August of 2015, while 53% felt that it should be legal only under certain circumstances, up from 46% in 2015. By party, 54% of Democrats say that abortion should be legal in all circumstances, while only 16% of Republicans and 33% of Independents feel that way. Only 2% of Democrats would make abortion entirely illegal, while 23% of Republicans and 10% of Independents would.

The poll found that Virginians are generally united regarding their thoughts on the ongoing war in Ukraine. 76% of Virginias are following the news regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine either very or somewhat closely and 66% feel the war will get worse. 40% of Virginias feel that sanctions against Russia will be very or somewhat effective; Democrats are more optimistic that sanctions will work, compared to Republicans, as only 30% believe sanctions will work. 47% of respondents said that the United States should offer more support to Ukraine, but not at the risk of our country getting into a war with Russia. Fewer, at 33%, said that the U.S. is already doing enough to support Ukraine, while even fewer, 17%, said that we should offer more support even if it risks getting our country into a war with Russia. Of note, only 22% of Democrats felt that the U.S. was already providing enough support, while 40% of Republicans felt that way.

Since the middle of 2016, IPOR has tracked political anxiety in the Commonwealth and last reported on results in November 2021. In the Roanoke College Poll conducted in May 2022, 80% of Virginians report trusting the federal government to do what is right only some of the time or never, unchanged from November. A slight majority of Virginians, at 52%, think that ordinary citizens can do a lot to influence the federal government, down from 60% in November. The Poll found that 65% of respondents think their side is losing more than winning in politics today, an increase since from 58% in November and the largest “losing more than winning” rating seen since political anxiety has been tracked. Disaggregated by party, 33% of Democrats feel they are on the winning side, while only 21% of Republicans feel that way.

The poll states that 648 adult residents of Virginia were interviewed between May 15 and May 26.

For the full Roanoke College poll, click here.

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