New poll finds GOP policy positions unpopular with Virginia voters

New poll finds GOP policy positions unpopular with Virginia voters

(AP photo/Steve Helber)

By Carolyn Fiddler

October 19, 2023

A new poll of likely voters in Virginia’s 2023 legislative elections reveals that reproductive freedom, K-12 education, and the economy are the biggest issues folks will be considering at the ballot box in November.

With just weeks to go before Virginians cast their votes for all 140 members of the General Assembly, a significant majority – 72% – favor either keeping the commonwealth’s abortion laws as they are or making them less restrictive. Just 24% want Virginia’s abortion laws to become more restrictive – an inevitable outcome if Republicans win majority control of the state House and Senate on Nov. 7.

The poll, conducted by The Wason Center at Christopher Newport University, also found that most Virginians (58%) are satisfied with education in their communities; a whopping 81% trust teachers to make the right decisions for children in K-12 public schools.

The survey found a number of GOP positions to be unpopular among Virginia’s likely voters.

As numerous conservatives running for the General Assembly and in school board elections have supported banning books, 84% of Virginians disagree that books should be removed from a public school library if a parent objects to it, even if other parents like the book. Relatedly, 73% agree that public school libraries should have books that represent a variety of perspectives about controversial issues.

Following an attempt by GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s administration last fall to implement new history standards in public schools that placed less emphasis on the perspectives of marginalized peoples and removed suggested discussions of racism and its lingering effects, a majority of Virginians (69%) say they believe that public schools should teach about the ways racism in America’s history affects the country today.

After the Youngkin-controlled Air Pollution Control Board voted to remove the state from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) last summer, this poll found that most Virginians (65%) support staying in the multistate coalition aimed at reducing carbon pollution.

CNU’s poll was conducted from Sept. 28 – Oct. 11, 2023. Eight hundred Virginia likely voters were surveyed, and the margin of error is +/- 4.0%.

  • Carolyn Fiddler

    Carolyn Fiddler is Dogwood's chief political correspondent. She is also the nation’s foremost expert in state politics with almost two decades of experience in statehouse machinations, and her comic book collection is probably bigger than yours.

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