Summary of Key Findings
1.In the wake of his “blackface” scandal, Governor Ralph Northam’s popularity among registered voters has plummeted 19 points since December. At 40%, Northam’s approval rating is lower than President Trump’s 44%.
2.Asked if Northam should resign, a slight majority says he should stay in office (52%-42%). In his own party, 29% of Democrats say he should resign.
3.With control of both Virginia Senate and House of Delegates on the line this November, Democrats hold a slight edge on the generic ballot test, 43% to 39%. Both parties will turn to their base, with Democrats still energized over Trump and Republicans fired up over abortion.
4.Northam, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax and Attorney General Mark Herring have all been damaged by scandals, with their disapproval ratings rising. But 23% of voters appear unaware of even the highly publicized Northam scandal, so the “Top Three” scandals’ drag on Democratic candidates may be limited overall.
5.Downstream effects for Democrats may also be limited due to advantages Democrats hold in public perceptions. Asked which party cares about the middle class, the working class, the poor, African Americans, women, men, and children, voters choose Democrats in every category but one. Voters say Republicans care about men. 6.A question designed to carefully measure attitudes on abortion reveals both parties are out of the mainstream in their abortion positions, as a plurality of voters (32%) want neither fewer restrictions nor more restrictions on abortion.