Virginia Republicans swinging, missing with voters on issues

Democrat vs. Republican on whiteVirginia Republicans might be misreading public sentiment on Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s push to restore the voting rights of ex-felons.

New polling from Public Policy Polling has nearly two-thirds of Virginia voters backing McAuliffe’s sweeping restoration of rights for more than 200,000 ex-felons.

The PPP numbers have 65 percent supporting the move by McAuliffe, with 25 percent opposed.

Democrats back the measure by an 85-10 margin, and independents are split 61-29 in favor. Republican voters oppose the move, but only by a narrow 45-43 tally.

The public support for the move hasn’t stopped Republicans from going on the attack on McAuliffe, calling the move an election-year stunt and highlighting a handful of cases that they say are indications that the governor overstepped his bounds.

The anti-restoration push isn’t the only bad political calculus coming out of the GOP camp. The polling shows voters supporting the Affordable Care Act, by a narrower margin – 43 percent back the reform that the GOP has dubbed Obamacare, with 39 percent opposing.

Not surprisingly, Republican voters form the bulk of those who don’t like the reform – 72 percent of GOP voters oppose it.

Elsewhere in Failed Republican Issue Push Land, we have the empty seat on the United States Supreme Court. Even Republicans, by a 45-33 margin, think there should at least be hearings on Merrick Garland’s nomination, and overall 52 percent of Virginia voters think the seat should be filled this year.

Seventy-three percent of all voters, including 54 percent of Republican voters, think the minimum wage should be raised to at least $10 an hour.

And then: Virginia supports the EPA Clean Power plan by a 63-31 split.

You might be inclined to think the biggest problem for Republicans is that they’re about to nominate Donald Trump to run for president. And then you look at the lack of support for the issues that they’re trying to push, and you realize that it’s a lot deeper than Trump.

More from the polling data: click here.

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