In a state where constituents are historically critical of their politicians, Governor Glenn Youngkin of Virginia has won over a vast majority of Virginians. A recently released Roanoke College Poll found that a whopping 55% of Virginians approve of the job he’s doing. Some are speculating that Youngkin’s success in Virginia could bode well for a strong future in politics.
Paul Bedard; August 30, 2022
Virginians haven’t been very kind to their governors over the past decade, but Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin appears to be winning them over — and at quite a pace.
The former businessman who edged aside former Gov. Terry McAuliffe with unexpected ease in last fall’s election has surged to a 55% approval rating in the just-released Roanoke College poll.
What’s more, Youngkin has a favorable/unfavorable rating of 51%-37%, which is also rare positive territory for a commonwealth governor.
“For the first time in our poll, a majority (51%) of Virginians have a favorable view of Governor Youngkin, while 37% continue to have an unfavorable view. Again, that increase comes mostly from Republican feelings, but his rating is up slightly among Democrats and independents as well,” read the survey analysis.
While only in office for eight months, a search of past surveys found that former Gov. Ralph Northam only once saw his approval rating over 53% and favorability over 48% during his four-year term. At about this stage of his four-year term in 2014, McAuliffe had a 48% job approval rating.
David Taylor, the director of the Institute for Policy and Opinion Research at Roanoke College, told Secrets that Virginians generally have a better feeling about government and public officials.
And, he added, Republicans are feeling better about Youngkin, who is taking slow steps onto the national stage to aid 2022 campaigns and potentially 2024.
“Since most of the increase in Youngkin’s favorability comes from his own party, his increased prominence (whether it be traveling in the state or national spotlight) among Republicans is very likely tied to that. And, just in general, Virginians are getting to know him and what he’s doing for our Commonwealth more as time passes. We’re just past his seventh month in office, and it can take time to grow even in one’s own party,” said Taylor.
The survey looked into the possibility that Youngkin will run for president in 2024, potentially against former President Donald Trump. But just 36% of Virginians said Youngkin should run for the nomination, while 54% said he shouldn’t. Among Republicans, 49% said he should run.
Photo: Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters