Even in GOP-Leaning Areas, Voters Overwhelmingly Back Medicaid Expansion, Raising Teacher Pay, and Background Checks on Gun Sales
A strong majority of Virginians in swing districts view Northam favorably
Richmond, Va. — According to a new poll by Public Policy Polling, Governor-Elect Ralph Northam remains popular with voters in Republican-held legislative swing districts — and voters there strongly back bipartisan policy solutions on a range of issues, from health care to gun violence prevention to economic development.
The poll, which was commissioned by the Democratic Party of Virginia, shows that a majority of voters in Republican-leaning districts support Democratic policy proposals — including Medicaid expansion, raising teacher pay, background checks on gun sales, free job training, universal access to birth control, and an additional tax on gasoline and hotels to improve the Metro system.
“Ralph Northam ran on a common-sense agenda to move Virginia forward last November — and he won in a landslide victory,” said DPVA Chairwoman Susan Swecker. “Now, voters want leaders in both parties to come together and work with Governor-Elect Northam to pass common sense solutions that help Virginia families. As the new year begins, lawmakers in the General Assembly have a unique opportunity to put aside their partisan differences and deliver for the people of Virginia.”
“In these polarized times it’s unusual to see majority support for a Governor and his party’s policy proposals in districts represented by the opposite party,” said Director of Public Policy Polling Tom Jensen. “A majority of voters in these districts represented by Republican legislators view Ralph Northam favorably — and they show strong support for Democratic policy solutions.”
In November, Northam won twelve legislative districts currently held by Republican delegates and state senators, along with HD 94 and 28, which are still being contested. The survey found that Northam, and the Democratic agenda, remain popular with voters in these Republican-leaning districts. 50 percent of voters in these Republican-held districts — which are cumulatively more Republican than Virginia as a whole — view Northam favorably, while only 35 percent with an unfavorable opinion of him.
Other key findings from the poll include:
MEDICAID EXPANSION: 60 percent of voters support expanding Medicaid compared — while only 33 percent oppose it.
GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION: 84 percent of voters support background checks on all gun sales, including at gun shows.
EDUCATION: 80 percent of voters support raising teacher pay by 2 percent.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM: 67 percent of voters support increasing the felony threshold for stealing from $200 to $500.
CREATING ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY: 65 percent of voters support free job training and workforce credentialing for jobs that are available today. That includes 88 percent of Democrats, 55 percent of independents, and 48 percent of Republicans.
WOMEN’S HEALTH FREEDOM: 63 percent of voters support a health program that makes all forms of birth control available to Virginia women upon their request.
TRANSPORTATION: 62 percent of voters support an additional regional tax on gasoline and hotels dedicated to improving the Metro system if Maryland and DC contribute as well. That includes 66 percent of Democrats, 65 percent of independents, and 54 percent of Republicans.
The poll, which was conducted on behalf of the Democratic Party of Virginia, interviewed 1,106 voters in Virginia Senate District (SD) 7, SD 8, SD 10, SD 12, SD 13, House District (HD) 27, HD 28, HD 40, HD 62, HD 76, HD 83, HD 84, HD 94, and HD 100 on December 19-20.