December 3, 2019 News

New poll: Virginians overwhelmingly support Democratic legislative agenda


by Grant Fox

KEY POINTS:

The poll shows a majority of surveyed Virginians back gun control measures, the Equal Rights Amendment and raising the minimum wage, which are just a few of the issues Democrats campaigned on this year.

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Gun control played a prominent role this campaign season after the May 31 mass shooting in Virginia Beach. Gov. Ralph Northam called for a special session for legislators to take up the issue of gun violence, but Republicans, using their slim majorities in both chambers, shut down the session. 

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The Roanoke College poll also shows that 73% of Virginians support passing the Equal Rights Amendment, 68% are in favor of regulations that slow the effects of climate change, 66% back raising the minimum wage to $15 over several years, 59% support reducing the prison population and prison racial disparities, and 53% approve of making it easier for women to get an abortion. See below from the Roanoke Times:

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Roanoke Times: Roanoke College Poll: Virginians back gun control, Equal Rights Amendment, minimum wage hike

By Amy Friedenberger  

December 3, 2019

As Democrats prepare to take control of the state legislature in January, a new Roanoke College Poll shows support for several of their priorities.

The poll shows a majority of surveyed Virginians back gun control measures, the Equal Rights Amendment and raising the minimum wage, which are just a few of the issues Democrats campaigned on this year. Democrats have already filed a host of bills related to those issues ahead of the legislative session that begins Jan. 8.

Gun control played a prominent role this campaign season after the May 31 mass shooting in Virginia Beach. Gov. Ralph Northam called for a special session for legislators to take up the issue of gun violence, but Republicans, using their slim majorities in both chambers, shut down the session. While Democrats promised to deliver on gun control if they took over the General Assembly, Republicans warned people while campaigning that Democrats would violate their Second Amendment rights.

The poll shows that 84% of Virginians support universal checks for firearm purchases and 57% support an assault weapons ban. Also, 76% of people polled support extreme risk protection orders, which would allow a family member to petition a judge for a warrant to seize legally owned guns if someone is determined to be an immediate threat to himself or others.

Democrats have already filed several gun control bills, including measures that would require universal background checks, create civil penalties for not reporting lost or stolen firearms to police, reinstate Virginia's lapsed one-handgun-a-month law, and give localities the ability to prohibit the carrying of firearms in public spaces during events that would require a permit.

Meanwhile, the Virginia Citizens Defense League, a gun rights group, has been leading the charge in encouraging gun owners to turn out in droves at local government meetings to call for localities to become "Second Amendment Sanctuaries." More than 30 government bodies have voted to adopt the largely symbolic title to indicate opposition to gun control.

The Roanoke College poll also shows that 73% of Virginians support passing the Equal Rights Amendment, 68% are in favor of regulations that slow the effects of climate change, 66% back raising the minimum wage to $15 over several years, 59% support reducing the prison population and prison racial disparities, and 53% approve of making it easier for women to get an abortion.

“The policy preferences expressed in this poll reinforce the Democratic victories in the General Assembly races in early November," said Harry Wilson, director of the poll. "A majority of Virginians seem to be on board with much of the Democratic agenda for the state although support for some policies is stronger than for others.”

Read the full article here

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