ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) – Roanoke College has released new poll numbers highlighting Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s administration as well as a partisan divide among Virginians which appears to remain strong.
The Institute for Policy and Opinion Research (IPOR) at Roanoke College interviewed 605 Virginia adults between Feb. 7 and Feb. 16, 2022, that asked residents to comment about recent executive actions by Gov. Youngkin, feelings regarding personal freedom versus health and safety, COVID vaccination, and general feelings on current and former elected officials.
Gov. Youngkin took office nearly two months ago and poll results indicate that his approval rating is at 50 percent, while 41 percent disapprove. Respondents say that Youngkin’s approval rating is near former Gov. Ralph Northam’s approval ratings for 2021 (52 percent in August, 47 percent in May and 49 percent in February).
Nationally, the approval of President Joe Biden is at a 41 percent total with 53 percent disapproving since he took office.
The poll indicated that the majority of Virginians (72 percent) feel that Congress is not doing a good enough job while 21 percent approve of their work.
Regarding Virginia’s General Assembly. 44 percent approve and 37 percent disapprove of their work.
Around 46 percent of Virginians have a favorable rating of Gov. Youngkin, while 42 percent indicate an unfavorable view. Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears holds a 30 percent favorable rating while 33 percent gave an unfavorable rating. A total of 41 percent said they did not have an opinion one way or another.
Poll results show that President Biden has a 43 percent favorable and a 52 percent unfavorable rating which marks the first time in the Roanoke College Poll where a majority of Virginians have an unfavorable view of Biden. Former President Donald Trump has a 37 percent favorable and a 56 percent unfavorable rating, poll numbers say.
As far as whether or not Virginia is moving in the right direction, 29 percent of those surveyed say that Virginia is going in the right direction, while 67 percent say that Virginia is on the wrong track.
Masks, Vaccination Requirements, Personal Freedom, Executive Orders
Gov. Youngkin’s Executive Order (EO) that allows parents to be able to decide whether or not their children should wear a mask in schools, the poll indicated that 46 percent of Virginians either strongly or somewhat agreed on the EO while 52 percent disagreed. Separating that by political party, 82 percent of Republicans approve of the EO, 21 percent of Democrats approve and 41 percent of Independents approve.
Regarding mask mandates being set by either school districts or the Commonwealth, about 56 percent of respondents say that local school districts should set mask requirements or their respective schools while 37 percent say that Gov. Youngkin and the state government should set mask requirements for schools.
As far as a vaccination mandate for all state employees, 51 percent strongly or somewhat agreed on the idea and 46 percent strongly or somewhat disagreed. By political party, 84 percent of Republicans and 23 percent of Democrats had some degree of agreement.
Respondents were asked to place themselves on a scale with personal freedom on one side and health and safety on the other. Around 38 percent expressed some degree of balance toward personal freedom while 37 percent balanced more toward health and safety.
Just over three-quarters of Virginians surveyed say they are fully vaccinated or are waiting for their second dose against COVID-19 (77 percent) while just three percent say they plan to get a vaccine soon. These numbers remain nearly unchanged from the last survey back in September (78 percent being fully or partially vaccinated and two percent planning to get a vaccine soon). The number of adults surveyed who say they do not get vaccinated increased slightly (18 percent now, 13 percent in November and 11 percent in September).
As far as the number of adults who are fully vaccinated, 61 percent say they have received a third dose (an increase from 24 percent in November), another 23 percent plan to get another shot soon, and 16 percent do not plan to receive another dose (down from 22 percent in Nov).
Results regarding being fully vaccinated continue to differ greatly when a political party is considered. A total of 89 percent of Democrats reports full or partial vaccination with just five percent not planning to get a shot. Republican numbers indicate that 67 percent plan to get a shot while 28 percent do not. As far as boosters, 89 percent of Democrats have or plan to get another dose with only 10 percent not planning to do so. Republicans surveyed say that 82 percent plan to get another dose while 18 percent do not.
The poll has a margin of error of 4.8 percent.