NORFOLK, Va. — Nearly a year into office, a slight majority of Virginians approve of how Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin is doing as the state's chief executive, a new poll from the Roanoke College found.
The poll was conducted between Nov. 13 and 22, just days after the 2022 midterms, which resulted in an expanded but slim Democratic majority in the Senate and a tight Republican majority in the House of Representatives.
The college interviewed 652 adults who live in Virginia to get the poll's results, which has a margin of error of 4.48%.
The poll itself addresses different topics, including feelings about current and former elected officials, Youngkin in the national spotlight, the midterms and abortion. Here are some of the major takeaways:
Majority approves of Youngkin, disapproval ticks up
The poll found that 52% of Virginians approve of Youngkin, down from 55% in the college's August survey, and 41% disapprove, up from 35%.
In a similar finding, 50% of Virginians see Youngkin favorably, but 40% have an unfavorable view, up from 37% in August.
Amid continued speculation that Youngkin will seek the White House in 2024, 34% of Virginians said he should run for president, while 52% said he shouldn't. Among Republicans, 52% said he should seek the party's nomination for president.
When asked who Republicans would support in their party's presidential primary, 39% said Youngkin, while 52% said former President Donald Trump. This was a significant jump for Youngkin, who got 28% in the August poll, compared to Trump's 62% at the time.
When asked about the country, 28% of Virginians said that things are going in the right direction, up from 25% in the August poll. 68% replied that things have gotten off on the wrong track, down from 72%.
Regarding Virginia, 47% said the state is heading in the right direction, while 48% said the state is going in the wrong direction.
Slim majority says economy more important than democracy
When asked about the bigger concern over the next few years, 51% of Virginians polled said they were more concerned about having a strong economy, while 46% said they were more concerned about having a functioning democracy.
The results differ by party affiliation: 67% of Republicans were more concerned about the economy and 63% of Democrats were more concerned about a functioning democracy. Independents polled were slightly more concerned about the economy.
When it comes to the importance of issues, 50% of Virginians cited inflation, the economy or jobs, while gun policy, abortion, crime and climate change each got about 9%.
Election integrity and race issues were cited by about 4% or 5% of people who responded to the poll.
Support for abortion rights increases
The poll found that 42% of Virginians think that abortion should be legal under all circumstances, 45% think it should be legal under some circumstances and 11% support a total ban on abortion.
This result indicates an increase in support for abortion rights since the Supreme Court overturned constitutional protections for the procedure in June.
In the college's May poll, 35% of Virginians said abortion should be legal under any circumstance, 53% said it should be legal under certain circumstances and 11% said abortion should be totally illegal.
When it comes to the Supreme Court's decision to overturn abortion protections, 27% agreed with it, compared to 35% in the August poll.
Plurality of Virginians think gridlock will continue after midterms
The poll found that 42% of Virginians think the results of the 2022 midterm elections won't make a difference in the ability of Washington to get things done.
29% said they think the election results will make it "more likely" for Congress to get things done, while 25% said they thought otherwise.
There was a modest difference in response based on party affiliation. 39% of Democrats said the midterm results will make it “more likely” to get things done in Washington, while only 26% of Republicans and 24% of Independents responded similarly.