A new Commonwealth Poll by the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University shows respondents are unsupportive of the job President Joseph Biden is doing as president.
This data follows national trends that show similar approval levels toward the president.
Among party lines, Biden is:
- 78.8 percent approval among Democrats
- 91.8 percent disapproval among Republicans
- 35.2 percent of those identifying as Independents approving of how Biden is handling the job
Biden approval as a whole:
- 39 percent of Virginians approve of the way that Joe Biden is handling his job as president
- 55 percent of Virginians disapprove of the way that Joe Biden is handling his job as president
However, there is a drastic split in approval based on political party (see above). Nearly 8 out of 10 Democrats approve of how he is handling his job (79 percent), 35 percent of Independents approve, and only 6 percent of Republicans approve.
On the issue of abortion:
- Half of respondents believe Virginia’s abortion laws are reasonable and should not be altered
- 18 percent believe the laws are too restrictive
- 25 percent believe the laws are too lenient
Currently, Virginia allows abortion in the first and second trimesters with third-trimester abortions allowed in certain limited circumstances.
U.S. response to Russian invasion of Ukraine:
- 46 percent of respondents support the way the U.S. has handled the invasion
- 42 percent of respondents oppose the way the U.S. has handled the invasion
- 49.8 percent of those 34 years and younger oppose the response
- 56.3 percent of those 55 and older support the response
“The issues — the pandemic, increasing cost of living, gasoline prices and pervasive crime — are best measured by the most affected areas: the people,” said L. Douglas Wilder, who served as the 66th governor of Virginia. “The lack of support for this administration demonstrates that they are missing the mark.”
On the issue of guns:
- 43 percent support tightening restrictions
- 40 percent believe there needs to be an increased focus on providing mental health services to help prevent mass shootings
Addressing national gun violence and mass shootings:
Finally, poll respondents were asked about their opinion on how to effectively respond to mass shootings in the U.S. with two options:
- an increased focus on providing mental health services to those most in need or
- to tighten restrictions on who can purchase and who can own a gun.
Virginians were evenly split across the two options with:
- 40 percent preferring the mental health response
- 43 percent preferring the gun control response.
Once again, there was a large preference split by participants based on party identification. Democrats (65 percent), and to a lesser extent Independents (45 percent), primarily support the gun control option, while Republicans (68 percent) favor the mental health response. Looking across racial demographics, Black respondents favor the gun control option (61 percent), while white respondents were split with 46 percent preferring a mental health response and 40 percent a gun control response.
“It is interesting to see Black respondents favoring the gun control option in addressing mass shootings in the U.S. while white respondents are split between a mental health response and a gun control response,” said Wilder.
The poll featured landline and mobile telephone interviews from June 30-July 9, 2022, with a representative sample of 813 adults living in Virginia. It has a margin of error of 5.81 percent.
For the full poll results and analysis, visit oppo.vcu.edu/policy-poll.