Wason Center poll: Only two-thirds of VA voters believe Biden’s election was valid

Wason Center poll: Only two-thirds of VA voters believe Biden’s election was valid
FILE - In this Feb. 19, 2021 file photo, President Joe Biden speaks after a tour of a Pfizer manufacturing site in Portage, Mich. (Source: AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WDBJ) - A new poll by Christopher Newport University’s Wason Center shows only 68% of Virginia voters think the outcome of the 2020 presidential election was legitimate.

Of the Virginia voters who were surveyed, 26% said President Joe Biden’s election was not legitimate. 61% of surveyed Republican voters said he did not win legitimately.

“This is the new Lost Cause in Virginia politics,” said Dr. Quentin Kidd, academic director of the Wason Center. “A solid majority of Republican voters’ refusal to accept the legitimacy of Biden’s election is bound to stir up the contest for the Republican nomination for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.”

When comparing Donald Trump to other former presidents, a majority of the Virginia voters surveyed said he is definitely worse than most (54%). 10% of those surveyed said he was not as good as most, while 18% said he is better than most and 15% said he is one of the very best. The partisan gap in responses was clear, with 93% of Democrats saying Trump is definitely worse than most presidents and 78% of Republicans saying he is better than most (41%) or one of the very best (37%).

56% of Virginia voters who were surveyed said Biden will be a successful president, but again, partisan differences were clear in the responses. 69% of Republicans said he will be unsuccessful compared to 2% of Democrats and 33% of independents. 91% of African-American voters said Biden would be successful.

In regards to policy issues, the survey asked voters if they believed President Biden will go too far, strike the right balance, or not go far enough. 64% of voters said Biden will strike the right balance on the COVID-19 pandemic, 53% on racial inequality, 46% on economic recession, 46% on climate change, 45% on health care and 44% on immigration.

“The pandemic and racial inequality were top of mind for voters during the election, and Biden has signaled that both are top priorities,” said Wason Center Research Director Dr. Rebecca Bromley-Trujillo. “So it’s not surprising that the highest number of voters expect him to handle those issues well.”

Concerning the slow rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations, the poll showed that more than twice as many voters blame the federal government (46%) than the state government (20%). The Wason Center said that appears to refer to the Trump administration, as Biden so far has received his highest marks on his handling of the pandemic, with 67% approving and 25% disapproving.

The poll showed that 67% - or two out of three - of Virginia voters believe 2021 will be better than 2020.

The results of this latest survey are based on interviews of 1,005 registered Virginia voters. The poll was conducted January 31-February 14, 2021.

Click here to view the entire survey.

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