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VCU poll examines COVID-19, 2020 election, racial justice

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The press release from VCU on a new statewide poll made it out that both President Trump and Gov. Ralph Northam have seen approval ratings for their handling of COVID-19 drop since April, which, OK, it’s accurate, but …

Fifty-five percent of Virginians don’t approve of the job being done by Trump at the federal level.

Northam still has the approval of 61 percent of state residents for what he’s been doing at the state level.

That latter total is down 15 points since April.

But still.

“The decrease in Trump and Northam’s positive handling of the pandemic is indicative of the increase in concerns related to the pandemic,” former Gov. L. Douglas Wilder said in the presser.

Meh. Could be that people are frustrated in general four months in, among things.

Eighty-two percent of those surveyed for the poll said the economy is the most or one of the most important issues in the 2020 presidential election, in which Virginians favor Democrat Joe Biden to Trump by a 50 percent-to-39 percent margin.

That isn’t all that surprising, given that Virginia has gone Democrat in the past three presidential election cycles, dating back to 2008.

Other findings:

  • Thirty-eight percent think the remaining Confederate monuments should be moved to museums, an increase of 15 percentage points from 2017. The percentage of Virginians who think the monuments should be left in place has decreased 17 percentage points in the same time period, from 49 percent in 2017 to 32 percent currently. Only 14 percent of Virginians think the monuments should be removed altogether.
  • Respondents were asked whether they thought blacks in the U.S. are treated as fairly as whites or whether changes need to be made for fair treatment. Fifty-nine percent said changes need to be made for fair treatment to occur.  Thirty-five percent said blacks are treated as fairly as whites. That opinion was significant to vote choice and what should be done with the remaining Confederate monuments. Eighty-two percent of those who say blacks are treated fairly now say they will vote for Trump. Of those who say we need change, 71 percent will vote for Biden. Respondents who think blacks are treated fairly were more likely to say the monuments should be left in place, with 65 percent, while respondents who think changes need to be made were more likely to say the monuments should be moved to museums, with 54 percent.

Story by Chris Graham

augusta free press
augusta free press