NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WVEC) — We're getting a look at how Virginians feel about some big issues facing the Commonwealth.
According to a poll released Wednesday by the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University:
- 68 percent of voters polled approve of the deal that will bring part of Amazon's east coast headquarters to northern Virginia.
- More than half of people polled support legalizing sports betting and casinos if that tax revenue goes to education and the general fund.
- A very strong majority of voters -- 78 percent -- supports amending Virginia’s Constitution to transfer the power to draw new political districts from the General Assembly to an independent commission.
- Voters overall approve of Gov. Ralph Northam, with 59 percent approving of his job performance and 24 percent disapproving.
- President Trump, however, has only a 35 percent approval rating, with 57 percent disapproving of the president's performance.
- An overwhelmingly larger majority -- 81 percent percent of voters polled -- support ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment in the 2019 session. The amendment guarantees legal gender equality for women and men.
Virginia would be the 38th state to ratify the ERA, giving it enough votes to become part of the U.S. Constitution. Opponents to the ERA, however, say the deadline to pass the amendment expired in 1982.
13NewsNow Political Analyst Quentin Kidd said the largest battle during the 2019 General Assembly session will be determining the distribution of a $600 million surplus as a result of the federal tax code change.
“This may be one of the biggest political fights that happen in this General Assembly session,” said Kidd. ”Should the general assembly give it back to voters, taxpayers, residents of Virginia? Should they spend it on something like critical needs?”
The poll found voters are torn whether a tax cut should be given to all Virginians who pay income tax or if a tax credit should be given to low and moderate-income Virginians.
The Wason Center conducted 841 interviews of registered Virginia voters, including 294 on landline and 547 on a cell phone between November 14 and 30. The survey’s overall margin of error is +/- 3.7%. Subgroups are higher.