NORFOLK, Va. — A new poll from Roanoke College shows that Virginians' approval of Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin is ticking up, nearly half a year since he took office.
The poll was conducted by the Institute for Policy and Opinion Research (IPOR) at Roanoke College between May 15 and 26. Pollsters interviewed 648 adults who live in Virginia, asking questions about current and former elected officials, the war in Ukraine, abortion and political anxiety.
The results come less than half a year until the 2022 midterm elections, where people across the country will vote in various elections. In Virginia, all 11 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives will be on the ballot, with two forecasted to be competitive.
The institute released the results of the poll Friday, June 3 with a 4.3% margin of error.
Youngkin's approval on the rise, even among Virginia Democrats
The poll found that 53% of Virginians approved of Youngkin, up from 50% in February, while his disapproval dropped to 35%, down from 41% in February.
Democrats' approval of Youngkin’s performance increased to 41% from 30% three months ago, while Republicans' approval dropped to 75% from 84% in February.
About 46% of Virginians had a favorable view of Youngkin, while 37% had an unfavorable view. 29% of Democrats had a favorable view of Youngkin, up from 20% in February, while Republicans had a less favorable view at 75%, compared to 84% in February.
President Joe Biden’s approval rating declined to 37%, down from a previous low of 41% in February. The decline was seen across all Virginians regardless of political party affiliation.
Virginians mostly united in support of Ukraine, have nuances on abortion
Over three months after Russia began its invasion of Ukraine, 76% of Virginians said they followed the news about it closely and 66% believed the worst of the war is yet to come.
When it comes to sanctions on Russia, 40% of Virginians believed sanctions will be very or somewhat effective (Democrats are more optimistic that sanctions will work at 54%, compared to Republicans at 30%).
About half (47%) of Virginians said the U.S should offer more support to Ukraine, but not at the risk of getting into a war with Russia. 33% said the U.S. is already doing enough to support Ukraine, while 17% said the U.S. should offer more support even at the risk of war.
84% of Virginians agreed that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a war criminal, while 11% said he's not, with Democrats and Republicans virtually united on the issue.
After the leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion overturning the landmark abortion rights case Roe v. Wade, 88% of Virginians said they believed abortion should be legal under some or all circumstances, but the results are different across party lines.
35% of Virginians said they believed abortion should be legal under any circumstances, 53% believed it should be legal only under certain circumstances and only 11% believed abortion should be completely illegal.
54% of Democrats said abortion should be legal in all circumstances, while only 16% of Republicans and 33% of independents felt that way. Only 2% of Democrats said they would make abortion entirely illegal, while 23% of Republicans and 10% of independents would.
When it comes to the draft opinion, 32% of Virginians agreed with it, while 56% disagree.
Most Virginians disapprove of country's direction
Only 21% of Virginians said the country is going in the right direction, while 77% believe the country has gotten off on the wrong track.
As for the direction of the Commonwealth, 50% said that things are going in the right direction, while 44% said that things are on the wrong track.
Less than half of Virginians (44%) believe the country’s best years are ahead, while a majority (52%) believe its best years have passed. Most Virginians (85%) see division as one of the important issues facing the country.
Even though Youngkin isn't on the ballot, his approval rating could indicate increased momentum for Republicans in the Commonwealth, which could carry over to the House races.
Youngkin's spokesperson Macaulay Porter said the results demonstrate the people support Youngkin's conservative agenda.
“The governor has been delivering on his promises to cut taxes, empower parents, lower the cost of living and spur job creation in the Commonwealth," Porter said in a statement.
13News Now also reached out to the Democratic Party of Virginia for a comment on the poll. No one has responded yet.