Virginians' motivation to vote grows
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 20, 2019
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Farrah Stone, Ph.D.
Against the backdrop of last month’s election that gave Democrats control of Virginia’s General Assembly and amid the ongoing process of impeaching President Donald Trump, Virginians are increasingly motivated to vote, according to statewide poll conducted by the Center for Public Policy at the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University.
The poll also provides a snapshot of potential 2020 presidential election matchups in Virginia, as well as other issues, including whether Virginians support the idea of forming a congressional commission to study reparations for the descendants of slaves in the United States.
Among the poll’s key findings:
- There was an increase in those who reported they would definitely vote in the next election. While it is normal for the percentage of those who say they will vote to be inflated because of the social desirability of voting, 83% of respondents in our current poll said they would definitely vote, compared to only 73% of those polled in October, for an increase of 10%.
- Overall, the Democratic hopefuls have lost support since our last poll in October with likely voters. Biden is still ahead of Trump by 3% (49% versus 46%). Warren is evenly split, with both receiving 47%. And Trump is ahead of Sanders by 3% (48% versus 45%).
- Republicans have moved away from Trump, while Independents have increased their support. In our October reporting each party’s support for their own candidates was over 90%. Now Republican support has dipped, while Democrat support for each of the hopefuls remains basically the same. Republican support for Trump decreased by 8% against Biden (to 86%), and by 10% against Warren and Sanders (to 86% and 87%, respectively). Meanwhile, Independents have shifted from each of the Democratic candidates to Trump. Trump support from Independents increased 10% against Biden (to 48%) and Sanders (to 54%). And Independent support increased by 13% against Warren (to 51%).
- A third of respondents strongly or somewhat favor a congressional commission to study how reparations could work, while 59% strongly or somewhat oppose. This finding matches national level polling on the issue. Age played a significant factor in opinion with those under the age of 45 being more likely to support strongly or somewhat (52% of 18-34 year olds and 42% of 35-44 year olds). Minorities and Democrats were more likely to be supportive of the measure (61% of Democrats and 54% of minorities).
The telephone survey of 818 adults living in Virginia was conducted between Dec. 2 and Dec. 13. It has an estimated margin of error for likely voters of ±5.13 percentage points.
The full news release from December 20 with poll results and methodology can be found here: https://oppo.vcu.edu/policy-poll/.
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/.