President Donald Trump remains deeply unpopular in Virginia, with 58 percent of those surveyed turning thumbs-down on his job performance, according to a new University of Mary Washington statewide survey.
The survey, conducted September 4-9 for UMW by the national research firm SSRS, found 37 percent of Virginians approved of the president. Trump scored a 55 percent disapproval and 37 percent approval rating in UMW’s September 2017 statewide survey.
“The latest Mary Washington survey demonstrates that President Trump will be of limited value to Republican candidates in swing districts in Virginia,” said Stephen J. Farnsworth, professor of political science at the University of Mary Washington and director of its Center for Leadership and Media Studies. “Negative evaluations of the president in Northern Virginia and the Tidewater area are making a bad situation worse for endangered Republican members of Congress.”
Nonpartisan election analysts rate Rep. Barbara Comstock in Northern Virginia and Rep. Scott Taylor in Hampton Roads as two highly vulnerable Republican incumbents in the 2018 midterm elections in Virginia. While the UMW survey did not poll individual congressional races, likely voters preferred Tim Kaine (D) to Corey Stewart (R) by a 52 percent to 36 percent margin in the state’s U.S. Senate contest.
Trump’s high disapproval numbers are a stark contrast from then-President Obama’s numbers during five separate UMW statewide surveys conducted during his second term. Obama’s approval ratings ranged between 43 and 52 percent during that period and his highest disapproval rating in the UMW surveys stood at 50 percent in October 2014.
Virginians also viewed Gov. Ralph Northam (D) more favorably than Trump. In last week’s survey, 55 percent approved of the governor’s job performance and 24 percent disapproved.
Trump was deeply unpopular in Northern Virginia, where 73 percent disapproved and 24 percent approved of his job performance. The president’s approval numbers were net negative in several other regions of the state, including Tidewater, South Central Virginia and the state’s northwestern corner.
Respondents in the western regions of the state backed Trump by a 59 percent to 35 percent margin, his best regional performance and the only part of the Commonwealth where positive assessments outnumbered negative ones.
Among levels of education, Trump did best with those who did not graduate from high school, where his approval/disapproval rating stood at 54/44. He did worst with those who had at least a college degree, where his ratings were 69 percent negative and 27 percent positive.
White non-Latino respondents were divided, with 48 percent disapproving and 47 percent approving of the president’s performance. African Americans objected to Trump’s job performance by an 80-13 percent margin, as compared to a 72-21 percent disapproval margin among Latinos.
Among Republicans, 78 percent approved of Trump, while 19 percent did not. Among Democrats, 5 percent approved of Trump and 90 percent did not. Independents disapproved of Trump by a 65-30 margin.
Men disapproved of Trump by a 55-41 margin, while 61 percent of female Virginians disapproved of Trump and 33 percent approved.
Among Trump supporters, 36 percent said that immigration was the most important problem facing the country, followed by 18 percent identifying the economy and jobs. Among Trump opponents, 28 percent said health care was the most important issue, as compared to 16 percent saying the economy and jobs.
The University of Mary Washington’s Virginia Survey Fall 2018 obtained telephone interviews with a representative sample of 801 adults, ages 18 or older, living in Virginia. Telephone interviews were conducted by landline (281) and cell phone (520). The survey was conducted by SSRS. Interviews were done in English from September 4 to 9, 2018. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is ± 4.6 percentage points. For results based on registered voters [N=704], the margin of sampling error is ±5.0 percentage points. For results based on likely voters [N=512], the margin of sampling error is ±5.8 percentage points.
For the full survey, see Topline.
For further information, or to schedule an interview, contact Farnsworth at firstname.lastname@example.org.