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Poll reflects Virginia’s dark purple political nature

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(The Center Square) – Virginians don’t approve of the job President Joe Biden is doing.

In fact, they’re showing even less enthusiasm for the president than the average American, with only 37% of those surveyed saying they’re happy with his performance, according to Virginia Commonwealth University’s most recent poll.

Despite Biden’s approval rating having fallen since the college’s August sampling, however, the state’s blue tint persists. He has a 68% approval rating with state Democrats, and if the 2024 presidential election were held today, he’d still beat two out of three Republican presidential candidates. Biden is still preferred to former President Donald Trump, 43% to 40%. He’d also beat Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis by the same 3-point margin, 42% to DeSantis’ 39%.

The poll predicted Biden would lose, however, in a matchup against former South Carolina governor and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. The poll was taken before DeSantis dropped out Sunday.

Haley is the only Republican alternative to Trump currently left heading into Tuesday’s primary. Forty-three percent of respondents indicated they would vote for Haley, while just 38% would vote for Biden.

Other features of the poll similarly reflected Virginia’s deep purple political hue.

The same poll asked Virginians for their biggest reasons for voting in the November 2023 election. Twenty-three percent of those polled did not vote in the election. Most important to Democrats were women’s reproductive rights (21%) and education (19%).

When asked the most important issue for the Virginia General Assembly to focus on in its 2024 legislative session, however, inflation – more important to state Republicans – came in first, at 26%.

Finally, while the poll showed that Biden would win in more scenarios than not in 2024, he’s far less popular with the same group of Virginians than Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin. Youngkin’s approval rating is 54%, notably the same percentage of those polled who disapprove of Biden. Unlike Biden’s rating, which dropped two percentage points since August, Youngkin’s has risen five.

The VCU Wilder School Commonwealth Poll is a featured 2020 Presidential Election Poll and has been conducted for almost 30 years. The January poll secured phone interviews with “a representative sample of 812 adults,” and “statistical results were weighted to reflect known demographic proportions in the commonwealth,” such as gender, age, education and race, among others.

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