President Biden needs to catch a break! As of late he has had to put out many fires on both domestic and international fronts. Whether he has succeeded in doing so is left up to interpretation or partisan beliefs.
Either way, Biden is doing alright in the state of Virginia when it comes to his job approval but considering the state has gone to the Democrats in each of the last four presidential elections, the fact he has a lower job approval rating than a sitting Republican Governor and a similar job approval rating to the Lt. Governor is not a good sign for Democrats in the upcoming midterm elections.
While Biden is struggling with the war in Ukraine, food shortages at home, and raging inflation, Gov. Glenn Youngkin is enjoying a surge in popularity. He has the potential to become a rising star in the GOP and you could hear whispers of him becoming a strong presidential candidate in 2024.
Riding Gov. Youngkin's wave of popularity is the Lt. Governor Winsome Earle Sears, who has become a popular figure in Republican circles due to her being an African American with conservative views, and like Youngkin has broad base appeal according to our recent poll.
President Biden's Job Approval
Overall, President Biden's job approval was upside down in the state of Virginia. Forty-seven percent of Virginia voters approved of Joe Biden, while 50% disapproved, and 3% were not sure.
The President did well with his base of younger voters aged 18-24 (53% approved/41% disapproved) and 18-29 (54% approved/43% disapproved), urban voters (65% approved/33% disapproved), and African Americans (71% approved/25% disapproved).
Joe Biden also performed well with union voters (69% approved/27% disapproved), middle income voters, whose household income was between $75-100K annually (56% approved/43% disapproved), Generation Z (51% approved/44% disapproved) and Millennial voters (53% approved/45% disapproved) in Virginia. As we have observed in our past polls, the President's approval rating has decreased with Hispanics (48% approved/46% disapproved) and men (48% approved/50% disapproved).
The subgroups President Biden did not perform well with in Virginia were voters aged 50+, especially those aged 65+ (40% approved/57% disapproved), women (46% approved/51% disapproved), white voters (40% approved/59% disapproved), suburban voters (45% approved/54% disapproved), and rural voters (31% approved/67% disapproved). His job approval among Independents (37% approve/57% disapprove) was anemic.
Governor Youngkin's Job Approval
Gov. Glenn Youngkin's job approval in the state of Virginia was strong at 57% (strongly approved and somewhat approved combined), while 31% disapproved (strongly disapproved and somewhat disapproved combined). Twelve percent of voters were not sure.
Gov. Youngkin's job approval was positive across the board. He did very well with his typical base of Republican voters, such as, men (62% approved/29% disapproved), older voters aged 50+ (56% approved/31% disapproved), suburbanites (57% approved/34% disapproved), rural voters (67% approved/21% disapproved) and born-again Christians (67% approved/23% disapproved). His numbers among registered Republicans were solid as 87% approved of his job as governor, while 8% disapproved.
Youngkin also scored well with younger voters aged 18-24 (56% approved/32% disapproved) and 18-29 (52% approved/33% disapproved), as well as older voters aged 65+ (58% approved/34% disapproved) and 70+ (59% approved/36% disapproved).
Youngkin also cut into his opposition's support-36% of Democrats approved, while 51% disapproved of his job as governor in the state of Virginia.
Where Youngkin really cuts into Democratic support, is with groups who heavily lean toward the Democratic Party, such as, union voters (52% approved/43% disapproved), urban voters (58% approved/31% disapproved), and Hispanics (59% approved/30% disapproved).
The governor also performed decent with Independent voters (47% approved/34% disapproved).
Lt. Governor Earle Sears
By most standards Winsome Earle Sears has an excellent job approval rating for a sitting Lt. Governor. Her job approval (46%) among Virginia voters was almost tied with Joe Biden (47%) in our Virginia poll of likely voters. Only 20% disapproved of her, while a third (34%) were not sure or not familiar with her.
Earle Sears has been a fire brand since she gained national attention as the running mate of Glenn Youngkin. She has a take no prisoners type of personality and is enthusiastic about her conservative views, much to the chagrin of liberals and Democrats in Virginia.
Earle Sears did best with voters aged 30-49 (50% approved/17% disapproved), men (57% approved/19% disapproved), Hispanics (52% approved/22% disapproved) and rural voters (52% approved/13% disapproved). A slight majority of large city urban voters (51% approved/18% disapproved) gave her a positive job approval rating.
Among groups who typically lean left, she also received high marks-Millennials (51% approved/17% disapproved) and college educated voters (51% approved/20% disapproved).
Where Earle Sears will need to improve her standing is among Independents (38% approved/22% disapproved), suburban voters (44% approved/21% disapproved), non-college educated voters (41% approved/20% disapproved), African Americans (31% approved/29% disapproved), younger voters aged 18-24 (41% approved/24% disapproved) and 18-29 (43% approved/24% disapproved), and women (37% approved/21% disapproved). A good percentage of these groups remained unsure of Winsome Earle Sears' handling of her job as Lt. Governor.
Amazingly, 31% of Democrats approved of the Lt. Governor, while 31% disapproved and 38% were not sure.
In this year's Congressional elections, for which party's candidate do you intend to vote - Democrat or Republican?
We asked Virginia voters which party's candidate they were going to vote for in the 2022 midterms and Republicans (40%) and Democrats (39%) were in a statistical tie. Five percent said they would vote for other/minor party and 16% of surveyed likely voters said they were not sure/will not vote.
When we examined the different demographics and who they planned to vote for, there were not any big surprises. Younger voters under 50 (44% Democrat/34% Republican) were planning to vote for Democrats, while voters aged 50+ (35% Democrat/46% Republican) said they planned to support Republicans. Men leaned toward Republicans (38% Democrat/45% Republican), while women slightly favored Democrats (40% Democrat/36% Republican). A majority of urban voters (56% Democrat/22% Republican) planned to vote for Democratic candidates, while rural voters (26% Democrat/50% Republican) were planning to vote for Republicans.
Important swing voters, such as, suburban voters (38% Democrat/45% Republican), Hispanics (37% Democrat/40% Republican), college educated voters (42% Democrat/42% Republican) and non-college educated voters (37% Democrat/38% Republican) could decide the balance of power in Congress this November.
Do you agree or disagree with teaching Critical Race Theory (the movement based on the premise that race is not a natural attribute, but a socially constructed category that is used to oppress and exploit people of color) in Virginia schools?
A majority (51% strongly and somewhat disagreed combined) of Virginia voters slightly disagreed with the idea of CRT (critical race theory) being taught in schools, while 49% agreed (strongly and somewhat agreed combined). When it came to intensity, a plurality of voters strongly disagreed (33%) with teaching CRT in Virginia classrooms. A quarter (23%) strongly agreed.
The controversial teaching was split along partisan lines-groups who typically lean Democratic supported the controversial teachings, while those who lean Republican opposed it. Strong majorities of younger voters aged 18-29 (65% agreed/35% disagreed) and 30-49 (58% agreed/42% disagreed) agreed with teaching CRT in Virginia schools. Older voters aged 50-64 (42% agreed/58% disagreed) and 65+ (28% agreed/72% disagreed) were less enthusiastic about CRT being taught in Virginia classrooms.
A majority of men (47% agreed/53% disagreed) disagreed with the teaching of critical race theory. Women (50% agreed/50% disagreed) were split down the middle. Democrats (75% agreed/25% disagreed), who have adopted the teachings of CRT as a part of their party platform, were very agreeable to CRT being taught in schools, while Republicans (22% agreed/78% disagreed) saw CRT as an anathema. A slim majority of Independents (47% agreed/53% disagreed) disagreed with the idea of teaching CRT in Virginia schools.
Race also played a factor in how voters felt about critical race theory. Most White voters (40% agreed/60% disagreed) disagreed, while Hispanics (60% agreed/40% disagreed) and Blacks (73% agreed/27% disagreed) were in favor of critical race theory being a part of school curriculums.
Not surprisingly, large city urban voters (60% agreed/40% disagreed) supported CRT in Virginia schools, while rural voters (34% agreed/66% disagreed) did not. Suburban voters also (42% agreed/58% disagreed) disagreed with CRT being taught in schools.
Virginia has gone to Democrats in the last the four presidential elections. It has increasingly looked "blue" in recent years. With the emergence of Glenn Youngkin, who has challenged controversial ideas, such as, critical race theory (CRT) and mask mandates, Virginia could be in play for Republicans in the midterms and beyond. Looking at Gov. Youngkin's approval rating and that of his Lt. Gov. (Winsome Earle Sears) compared to President Joe Biden, Virginia is starting to appear purple. Our recent poll of Virginia voters shows Youngkin has the appeal and savvy to widen the base of the GOP in Virginia and on the national stage.
Zogby Analytics Poll Methodology
VA Likely Voters
3/29/22 - 4/1/22
Zogby Analytics conducted an online survey of 882 likely voters in Virginia.
Using internal and trusted interactive partner resources, thousands of adults were randomly invited to participate in this interactive survey. Each invitation is password coded and secure so that one respondent can only access the survey one time.
Using information based on census data, voter registration figures, CIA fact books and exit polls, we use complex weighting techniques to best represent the demographics of the population being surveyed. Weighted variables may include age, race, gender, region, party, education, and religion. The party breakdown for this survey is as follows: 38% Democrat, 38% Republican and 24% Independent/unaffiliated.
Based on a confidence interval of 95%, the margin of error for 882 is +/- 3.3 percentage points. This means that all other things being equal, the identical survey repeated will have results within the margin of error 95 times out of 100.
Subsets of the data have a larger margin of error than the whole data set. As a rule we do not rely on the validity of very small subsets of the data especially sets smaller than 50-75 respondents. At that subset we can make estimations based on the data, but in these cases the data is more qualitative than quantitative.
Additional factors can create error, such as question wording and question order.
About Zogby Analytics:
Zogby Analytics is respected nationally and internationally for its opinion research capabilities. Since 1984, Zogby has empowered clients with powerful information and knowledge critical for making informed strategic decisions.
The firm conducts multi-phased opinion research engagements for banking and financial services institutions, insurance companies, hospitals and medical centers, retailers and developers, religious institutions, cultural organizations, colleges and universities, IT companies and Federal agencies. Zogby's dedication and commitment to excellence and accuracy are reflected in its state-of-the-art opinion research capabilities and objective analysis and consultation.