Virginia Governor Glenn Younkin has seen his approval rating dip by over six points since February, hovering around 51% as the Youngkin administration continues to tangle with the Virginia Hunting Dog Alliance (VAHDA) as his handlers continue to float a potential presidential run.
More alarmingly, Youngkin’s fav/unfav numbers have put him underwater for the first time since May 2022, dropping a full six points to 46% with 42% of Virginians viewing him unfavorably — the highest point since February 2022.
Meanwhile, Democratic President Joe Biden’s approval ratings edged up ever so slightly to 42%, bouncing back from a low of 38% in February 2023. Former Republican President Donald J. Trump enjoys a 20-point lead over Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, with all other candidates polling in the single digits. Trump’s widening lead over his nearest challenger gained a full 10 points since the last Roanoke College poll.
Other questions in the poll pointed towards an increase degree of anxiety among Virginia voters as we head into the summer of 2023:
Approximately 79% of Virginians report trusting the government in Washington to do what is right only some of the time or never, which is statistically unchanged from November. A slight majority (52%) thinks that ordinary citizens can do a lot to influence the federal government, which is down six points from November. The poll finds that six in 10 Virginians (61%) think their side is losing more than winning in politics today. Fewer than half (41%) believe that the country’s best years are ahead of it, while a majority (55%) believes its best years have passed. This represents a nine-point change for both responses from our November poll, and it is the highest percentage of Virginians who have reported that the country’s best years are behind us since IPOR started asking this question in 2016. Nearly seven in 10 (69%) Virginians are dissatisfied or angry with how the federal government is working, which is unchanged from November. A large majority of Virginians (84%) also continues to see the nation divided regarding the important issues facing the country.
With Youngkin still hammering out his own budget deal with Senate Democrats, many Republican observers are continuing to chafe over prioritized tax breaks given to corporations over individuals.
Combined with the aggressive moves shown to Virginia’s hunting dog community in favor of commercialized hunting and continued inaction on things such as CRT and DEI initiatives, Republicans are growing anxious with the Youngkin administration to deliver something more than the events of the day, but rather act on his promise to govern Virginia first rather than seek higher office elsewhere.