Glenn Youngkin from Virginia, United States via Wikimedia Commons

Governor Glenn Youngkin is at 52 percent approval, and 32 percent disapproval in a Virginia Commonwealth University Poll as he makes a pitch for tax cuts and business incentives ahead of a General Assembly session beginning January 11.

“Poll respondents feel that inflation needs to be dealt with and democracy ensured for our future,” former governor L. Douglas Wilder said in an announcement of the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs poll.

Thirty-seven percent of respondents said legislators in the upcoming session should focus on inflation, 21 percent said the future of the U.S. democracy, 13 percent said violent crime rates, 12 percent said the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and 14 percent said other. The poll was conducted from December 3-December 16, 2022, among 807 adults living in Virginia and has a 6.02 percent margin of error.

A Youngkin spokesperson highlighted the poll in an email, emphasizing that Youngkin’s approval is up three points since VCU’s last poll in July and, noting support for Youngkin to be involved in education, crime, and inflation. The poll asked respondents if education, crime, and inflation required intervention from Youngkin beyond current levels; 53 percent said yes, and 30 percent said no.

Virginians are split on the state of education, according to the poll, with 47 percent of respondents saying children are ahead of or on track with their peers in other states, while 43 percent said they are falling behind.

“Republicans, African Americans and those 35-54 years old believe children are falling behind in math and reading, while Democrats, Hispanics and those 18-34 years old think that children are ahead or on track in math and reading proficiency compared to peers in other states,” the poll press release states.

They’re also split on crime: 49 percent said they strongly or somewhat agree that crime is a serious issue in their community, while 49 percent said they strongly or somewhat disagree.

“Of those respondents who view crime in their community as a serious issue, over half were African American, those with a household income of less than $70,000 and Republicans. Conversely, less than half of those ages 35-54, whites and Democrats view crime in their community as a serious issue,” the release states.

72 percent are concerned about access to affordable housing, and 66 percent said they strongly or somewhat support continued funding for free or discounted public transit launched earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic. 60 percent said they strongly or somewhat agree that Virginia should transition away from fossil fuels and towards renewable sources of energy. 79 percent said they strongly or somewhat agree that local communities should create “Healthy Communities Plans” that promote green space and protect clean well water.

Some of those policy issues align with Youngkin’s goals for the upcoming legislative session. He has called for increased funding for law enforcement, announced a plan to address housing shortages, and made major investments into nuclear energy. Still, he’s also working to reverse some Democrat-led changes that incentivize utilities to move away from fossil fuels.

“The poll results reflect a seeming increase in the disconnect or distrust between leadership and the people, and it is not partisan,” Wilder said. “The poll reflects that more needs to be done by leadership — administrative, legislative and gubernatorial — to address the salient issues that are being borne by the people in the commonwealth. The voters are looking for leadership to produce results for all Virginians.”


Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and The Star News Network. This article originally appeared in The Virginia Star. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of The Republican Standard. Republished with permission.