Large majorities of Virginians support policies passed during General Assembly session
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 21, 2020
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Farrah Stone, Ph.D.
More than 6-in-10 Virginians approve of various gun control, minimum wage and redistricting policies passed by the General Assembly, according to a new statewide poll conducted by the Center for Public Policy at the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Virginians showed strong support for universal background checks for gun purchases, with two-thirds strongly approving of the new legislation; the red flag law to remove firearms from those deemed dangerous, with 58% strongly approving; and raising the minimum wage, with 57% strongly approving. Majorities also approved of the one gun a month bill (64% strongly or somewhat approved) and the amendment to change the redistricting process (65% strongly or somewhat approved).
The poll also provides overall approval ratings for Gov. Ralph Northam and the Democrats in the General Assembly.
Among the poll’s key findings:
· A majority of Virginians strongly approve of raising the minimum wage. Fifty-seven percent strongly approve of the passage of legislation to raise the minimum wage to $12 by 2023. Gender, race and party identification were significant to the opinion.
· Virginians show strong support for gun control measures passed by the General Assembly. More than 6-in-10 respondents in every demographic category strongly approved of requiring universal background checks for gun sales.
· A majority of Virginians strongly or somewhat approve (65%) of the proposed constitutional amendment to change redistricting but almost 20% said “don’t know.” More than one-third of Virginians (34%) strongly approve of the proposed constitutional amendment that would change the process for congressional redistricting. Only 17% strongly or somewhat disapprove of the measure. Family income and party identification were significant to the choice.
· Gov. Ralph Northam has strong approval ratings, with 66% of Virginians strongly or somewhat approving of the way he’s handling the job of governor. Twenty-nine percent strongly approve and 30% strongly or somewhat disapprove. Race, region and party identification played a role in the opinion.
· Virginians were divided on how well Democrats handled the most recent General Assembly session and more than one quarter (26%) said “don’t know.” Thirty-nine percent strongly or somewhat approved, while 35% strongly or somewhat disapproved of the Democrats’ handling of the General Assembly session. Gender, education, race and party identification were significant to the choice.
The poll, a telephone survey of 812 adults living in Virginia was conducted between March 25 and April 8. It has an estimated margin of error of 4.51 percentage points for all adults sampled, and 5.68 percentage points for likely voters. The entire report with detailed analysis tables and graphics can be found at https://oppo.vcu.edu/policy-
ABOUT THE WILDER SCHOOL AND THE CENTER FOR PUBLIC POLICY
The L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, named for the nation’s first African-American elected governor, is a top-50 nationally ranked public affairs school. Located blocks from the state Capitol in Richmond, Virginia, the school enrolls about 1,000 undergraduates and 400 graduate students in eight academic programs. The Wilder School’s 10,000-plus alumni work across the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Drawing on the wide-ranging expertise of Wilder School faculty, the Center for Public Policy's programs provide diverse public-facing services including leadership development and training, economic and policy impact analysis, survey insights and program evaluation to clients in state and local governments, nonprofit organizations, businesses and the general public, across Virginia and beyond. For more, please visit https://wilder.vcu.edu/center-for-public-policy/.