Governor Glenn Youngkin has a 44 percent favorable, 42 percent unfavorable rating, according to a new survey from Public Policy Polling (PPP) conducted about a week-and-a-half into the new administration. However, only 44 percent of respondents approved of Youngkin’s job performance on COVID-19, while 47 percent disapprove — within the plus-or-minus 3.8 percent margin of error. On specific questions about COVID-19 policy, the poll found more separation, including that 55 percent disagree with Youngkin’s EO Two ending school mask mandates, versus 40 percent who agree.
“Virginians are also supportive of school boards across the state, agreeing that local school boards that oppose Youngkin’s order removing mask mandates in schools and have filed lawsuits are right. Voters support the school boards by a 15-point margin (55-40). By an even larger 25-point margin (56-31), Virginia voters say they think local school districts should set mask requirements themselves, rather than have the mask requirements set by Youngkin,” PPP reported.
PPP conducted the survey from January 25 through 26, with 681 Virginia voters. PPP conducted the poll on behalf of Coronavirus War Room, a project from Protect Our Care which is an organization helmed by former Democratic aides and appointees.
“A new Public Policy Polling survey finds that Governor Glenn Youngkin’s COVID-19 response has already started to see a backlash with Virginia voters rejecting many of his policies. He is already out of touch with Virginia voters on COVID-19 response less than two weeks into his administration. When it comes to Youngkin’s job performance specifically on the issue of the coronavirus, the Governor’s approval is already underwater (44-47), while voters disagree with his opposition to measures to slow the virus’ spread,” PPP said in the release.
Youngkin’s press office didn’t respond to a request for comment.
“I think the COVID situation is really integrated into the education situation, particularly the mask mandates or the lack of mask mandates in public education,” Senate Minority Leader Thomas Norment (R-James City) told The Virginia Star. “One of the real factors in [Youngkin’s] success in being elected governor was in the education arena where he was staking out certain positions. And school moms and dads, the most important thing to them is their children. So it doesn’t surprise me that maybe on that issue there’s a little bit of a divide.”
“I don’t use the word underwater, I think it’s just a vagary of this world,” Norment said. “I question the credibility of polling. You don’t know who they polled, is it disproportionately Republicans or disproportionately Democrats, whether it’s the people of Richmond, or in Wythe County. I’m not a big fan of polls.”