News from a Richmond Times-Dispatch/CNU Wason Center poll today stating that in the City of Richmond itself and among Democratic voters in general, opinions are sharply divided on Northam’s stance to remove Confederate monuments. From the article:
The survey of registered voters in Richmond and Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico counties found that 35 percent support removing Confederate statues in the city while 55 percent are opposed. Meanwhile, 61 percent of voters support adding historical context — an approach initially proposed by Mayor Levar Stoney.
Opinion in the region — which was once the political center of the Confederacy and is home to some of the largest and oldest Confederate monuments in the country — closely mirrors national polling on the subject, which has found a 50-33 split in opposition to removing monuments.
. . .
Democrats were split on the question, with 46 percent in favor and 45 opposed. Republicans, whose gubernatorial nominee, Ed Gillespie, has embraced the concept on the campaign trail, showed the strongest support for context, with 82 percent in favor and 12 percent opposed.
…and in an additional cool feature, the RTD has added a quick video explaining the math (which apparently still doesn’t work on WordPress CMSs — thus earning the White Brick of Shame):
Thus far, the approach to add context to the statues appears to be moderately popular, with Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney having successfully navigated the shoals 40-33 on the issue of Confederate memorials.
Nevertheless, the numbers among Democrats in the City of Richmond do not look good for Northam, who fumbled the ball early and remains tragically unclear as to whether or not he would push to bulldoze Richmond’s historic Monument Avenue. As CNU’s Quentin Kidd explains:
The poll results, Kidd said, help explain why Democratic politicians have “backed off their initial strident position that we needed to take all the statues down. … Except for African-Americans and strong Democrats, there isn’t support. But there is big support for historical context across the rest of the population. It’s the safe place to end up in terms of public opinion.”
The question is, will Virginia voters have forgotten Northam’s initial stance to bulldoze the memorials? Most likely not.