RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia voters are split on Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) after his first year in office, a new poll shows.
Half of the registered voters in Virginia approve of Youngkin’s job performance as governor, the poll found, compared to 57 percent who said they disapprove of President Joe Biden’s. Despite that difference, 59 percent of Virginia voters prefer Youngkin stay out of the 2024 presidential race.
“Virginians give Governor Youngkin solid marks as he enters his second year in office,” Dr. Rebecca Bromley-Trujillo, research director at the Wason Center, said in a statement. “Conversely, they see the nation as headed in the wrong direction and continue to be displeased with the president.”
They don’t want him running for president in 2024, oppose his push to restrict abortion and end the state’s environmental initiatives, according to Wason Center for Civic Leadership at Christopher Newport University poll released Friday.
According to the Wason Center, 31 percent of the 1,038 voters polled identified as a Republican and 32 percent said they were a Democrat.
The partisan divide on Youngkin, who was sworn in on Jan. 15, 2022 — is clear. His approval rating among Republican voters was 83 percent in the poll, compared with 74 percent of Democrats who said they disapprove of how he has handled his job.
Most Virginians, 66 percent of those polled, want to remain in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a program that Youngkin wants to withdraw Virginia from that seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.
The Wason Center poll found that 41 percent of voters would give either an “A” or “B” grade to their communities’ public schools — 11 percent would give an “A” and 30 percent would give a “B.” When asked the same question about public schools in the nation, only 13 percent would give an “A” or “B” grade.
According to the poll, 59 percent of voters back requiring schools to get a parent’s approval before calling students by their preferred pronoun, a Youngkin proposal, and more voters than not back his push to lower the income tax rate.
But 57 percent of voters are against Youngkin’s proposal to cut the corporate income tax rate, according to the poll.
On abortion, 43 percent of Virginia voters want to keep the laws in place, with 29 percent backing fewer restrictions and 23 percent wanting tighter rules on the procedure. Youngkin’s administration decried Senate Democrats Thursday who voted down three different Republican abortion restriction bills.
Sixty percent of Virginia voters also want recreational marijuana sales to begin, a process that has not started despite lawmakers passing a law decriminalizing possession of up to an ounce and allowing people to grow up to four plants in their homes.
Youngkin has not committed to approving legislation even if Republicans and Democrats come to a compromise on a retail cannabis market.
The poll of 1,038 registered Virginia voters, conducted over the phone from Jan. 13-23, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.