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Survey at Christopher Newport University: Virginia voters ranked moderate, support Democratic policy proposals

A survey released by the Wason Center for Civic Leadership at CNU found that Virginia voters rank themselves as moderate, and largely support Democrats' proposals.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — A study was done at a local university and it found that Virginia voter are very supportive of Democratic policy proposals.

According to the Wason Center for Civic Leadership at Christopher Newport University, a new survey shows that Virginia voters rate themselves as moderate, and although they lean slightly conservative, they heavily support Democrats' proposals.

Virginia voters regard Republicans as more conservative than they regard Democrats as more liberal,” said Wason Center Academic Director Dr. Quentin Kidd. “The question is, where’s the sweet spot in this election?”

Added Kidd: "This is in my mind, basic bread and butter. You know, Mom and apple pie type findings."

The Democratic policy proposals that the survey shows are supported by poll respondents include health care, immigration, environmental policy, and economic fairness.

“These findings reveal a political danger zone between policy and ideology,” said Wason Center Research Director Dr. Rebecca Bromley-Trujillo. “That will become a war zone as this year’s election for governor and House of Delegates tests whether the Democrats moved too far and too fast with a progressive legislative agenda since they won full control two years ago.”

Here are some of the highlights from the study:

  • VA voters’ average was 5.83. Republicans’ self-score was 8.11, Democrats’ 3.57 and independents’ 5.72 (Individuals on a scale of 0-10 from liberal to conservative)
  • Health care: Majority of voters support changes to U.S. policy, with 76% of voters in favor of a Medicare for the 'all-that-want-it program.'
  • Immigration: 73% of VA voters support implementing a pathway to citizenship for all undocumented immigrants currently in the U.S., with 94% of support for “Dreamers.”
  • Environmental policy: 65% of voters in favor of 'Green New Deal' to discuss climate change by government investment in “green” jobs and foundation.
  • Economy problems: 61% of VA voters highlight unfairness in the system supporting the wealthy, as well as 93% of Democrats and 72% of independents, while 70% of Republicans said the main problem is over-regulation of the free market intervening with growth.

Kidd says the poll shows that Virginia Democrats are doing a better job framing the issues that matter to people.

"Does this help us understand why Democrats have been doing really well running for state-wide office since 2009? I think it really does" he said. "I mean, Democrats have been offering policy proposals that voters really like, even if voters are more conservative  ideologically as a general rule."

VA voters were interviewed between Feb. 28 - March 17, including 427 on landline phones and 576 on cell phones.  They added that the margin of error overall is +/- 3.8%

To view the full report of the survey, you can visit the CNU website.

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