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New Poll Shows Democrats Well Placed to Take Control of Virginia Legislature This Year

New Poll Shows Democrats Well Placed to Take Control of Virginia Legislature This Year

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 13, 2019
PRESS CONTACT:
Emily Slatkow
emily@hartacommunications.com
954.260.1305
 
New Poll Shows Democrats Well Placed to Take Control of Virginia Legislature This Year
Democratic enthusiasm, low approval numbers for Trump continue to imperil Republicans
 
Richmond, VA – A new poll of likely 2019 General Election voters in Virginia’s battleground State Senate and House of Delegates districts shows that despite the turmoil caused by Democratic state leaders, the fundamentals of these competitive districts are quite strong for the Democratic Party. Democrats are not demoralized by the news out of Richmond. Instead, excitement among the Democratic Party’s rank-and-file exceeds the Republicans, and Republicans must still contend with negativity toward Donald Trump that led to big legislative gains for Democrats in 2017. The Democratic Party has clear advantages on the issues that do matter to these battleground district voters – education, health care, choice – and it’s legislative candidates are positioned strongly for success in November. Key survey findings can be found below:
 
The poll, conducted by Global Strategy Group and commissioned by the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, surveyed 600 likely General Election voters in 34 battleground State Senate and House of Delegates districts from February 19-21, 2019. The margin of error for the poll is +/- 4.0%.
 
  • Just as in 2017, when Democrats made big gains in the legislature, Democratic enthusiasm eclipses the Republicans. Democrats across the battlegrounds are much more excited to vote in November (40% very excited) than Republicans (only 27% very excited).
  • Voters do not connect recent scandals among Democratic officials to legislative candidates and they will have little impact in these competitive districts. A large majority (over 68%) in the battlegrounds say that the Democratic scandals will make no difference in their vote for state legislature. Voters who say that they will be less likely to vote for Democrats because of the scandals are mainly Republican voters (36%), with very few Democrats (8%) and independents (12%) saying they will be less likely to vote for Democrats because of the scandals. Furthermore, far more Democrats say they are “excited to vote for Democrats in November to send more new faces to Richmond to change the Democratic Party for the better (78%) than that they are “not that excited to vote in November because of all the scandals involving Democrats this year” (only 14%).
  • Trump remains a big problem for Republicans. Trump is very unpopular in battlegrounds (41% favorable/53% unfavorable) and toxic among Democrats (-85 net favorable) and independents (-35 net favorable). As many say it is more important “to elect Democrats to the state legislature to stand up to Trump” (45%) as say it is important “to elect Republicans to be a check on scandal-plagued Democratic leaders in Virginia state government” (42%). This includes the larger number of independents (+12 Democrats).
  • Democrats are right on the issues that matter most. In an environment where the Democratic scandals will be a minor factor in the state legislative campaigns, the Democratic Party holds advantages on the key issues that do motivate voters.
    • Education and public schools are the top priority for voters in the battlegrounds (51% top two issue) and many more voters trust Democrats over Republicans to handle the issue (+15 trust Democrats more). This includes most independents (+35 trust Democrats more).
    • Health care is the top issue for roughly a third of the electorate (30% top two issue) and support outweighs opposition to the recent Medicaid expansion. Nearly half (47%) agree that “the Medicaid expansion means as many as 400,000 Virginians now have access to affordable health care and struggling rural hospitals now have more funding to stay open” while only 37% think “the Medicaid expansion will lead to runaway spending and big tax increases and it does nothing to make the health care more affordable for middle-class Virginians.” Even a significant number of Republicans agree with the pro-Medicaid expansion argument (27%).
    • When it comes to state legislative races, a majority (55%) say it is important “to elect Democrats who will protect a woman’s right to choose and make her own health care decisions” than to elect Republicans who will oppose abortion (only 34%). This pro-choice position is held by nearly half of the independents (47%) and one in five Republicans (21%).
 
The numbers speak for themselves. With strong momentum and high spirits moving into the 2019 General Election, Democrats are likely to continue making gains towards taking back the legislature.
 
 
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