Poll: Virginia’s Voters Mixed on Youngkin’s First Month in Office

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, gestures during an interview in his office at the Capitol Tuesday Feb. 15, 2022, in Richmond, Va. Youngkin was inaugurated one month ago. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

By Meghin Moore

February 22, 2022

Gov. Glenn Youngkin has been in office for just a little over a month. What’s the report card on his first month looking like?

In his first month in office, Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin overturned a mandatory mask mandate for students in public K-12 institutions, created an “education tip line” for parents to report any “divisive practices” being taught in public schools, has talked about how important it is to learn all of Virginia’s history, despite not wanting to address historical and present racism into Virginia’s public school systems, and has faced a lot of backlash from constituents across the commonwealth for his proposed policies.

According to the latest “State of the Commonwealth” poll from the Wason Center for Civic Leadership at Christopher Newport University, Virginia’s voters have more negative things to say about his first month in office, and disagree with him on many major issues that he campaigned on, including education.

A large percentage of Virginia’s voters would rather see the state government spend the state budget surplus on underfunded services, like education and social services, as opposed to providing tax cuts or tax rebates. Gov. Youngkin recently stated that Virginians are being “overtaxed,” while his tax plans have been met with mixed reaction in the General Assembly. However, when it comes to the proposed grocery tax, a majority of voters were in support of repealing Virginia’s grocery tax, while 25% of voters were in support of a grocery tax credit for low-income residents.

63% of voters supported teaching how racism continues to impact society today, while 57% of voters opposed Youngkin’s proposed ban on Critical Race Theory. In public schools, a majority of voters also said health data should be used to determine any masking requirements, even though 41% of voters believe that parents should have that decision instead. 

One of Gov. Youngkin’s “Day One” pledges was to remove Virginia from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, yet 67% of voters polled support Virginia’s membership in the program.

Even though the future of abortion is uncertain in the commonwealth, more voters oppose a 24-hour waiting period for an abortion, requiring an ultrasound for an abortion, and a ban on abortions after six weeks.

Ultimately, 45% of voters polled think that Virginia is headed in the “right” direction, while 41% of voters disagree. Voters have mixed opinions on how Youngkin’s first month in office has gone, with 41% in approval of what he’s done so far, and 43% not in approval. Only 16% of voters polled did not have an opinion on how he’s doing.

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