Latest Wason Center Poll: GOP May Be Facing Another Blue Wave Election

The future of Virginia Republicans doesn’t bode well with Democrats poised to take over the General Assembly, according to the latest Wason Center for Public Policy’s poll out of Christopher Newport University. All 140 seats in the State Senate and House of Delegates are on the ballot in November.

The poll also indicates that President Donald Trump trails any 2020 Democratic presidential candidate.

“It’s clear that national politics are on the minds of Virginia voters this fall,” said Quentin Kidd, the Wason Center’s director. “Like or not, there’s no way for state legislative candidates to run in a vacuum — their national party brands influence their fortunes.”

A summary of the Wason Center’s key findings:

  • Voter enthusiasm: Democrats have a significant advantage over Republicans on voter enthusiasm, 62% to 49%. Further, 84 percent of Democrats say they will “definitely vote,” compared with 74 percent of Republicans and 75 percent of Independents.
  • Democrats lead Republicans by 13 points on the generic ballot test among likely voters, 49% to 36%. These advantages remain under our most stringent model.
  • Voters prefer that Democrats control the General Assembly after the election, 53% to
    37%, powered by a 17-point advantage among Independents.
  • Voter Optimism: Governor Ralph Northam’s approval is at 51 percent and voters are fairly optimistic about the state of the Commonwealth. But voters are pessimistic about the state of the country,
    with 62 percent of voters reporting the country is on the “wrong track.”
  • Trump’s Approval: President Trump’s approval is at 37 percent. In our 2020 ballot test, he trails a generic Democrat, 51% to 36%. (This data largely predates the Ukraine disclosures.)
  • Voter Issues: Questions on gun control, health care, minimum wage, abortion and other topics show voters focused on both national and state issues, and significantly more likely to vote for candidates who support Democratic Party positions.
  • Mueller Report: Just 6 percent of voters say they read the Mueller Report.

Dr. Kidd and Wason Center Assistant Director Rachel Bitecofer, who directed the survey, released the findings Monday morning. The survey included the most reliable, civically engaged voters including those who participate in the state legislative off-off year election cycles.

Will 2019’s election turn out to be another Blue Wave similar to what occurred in 2017 when Virginia Republicans were caught entirely off guard with 15 flipped seats?

Read the entire poll results here.