RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – A new poll from VCU shows Republicans are in the driver’s seat ahead of November’s Virginia General Assembly elections.
The poll conducted by VCU’s Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs shows 47% of Virginians want Republicans in charge of the House of Delegates, compared to 41% who prefer a Democratic majority. On the Senate side, adults are evenly split on who they want to see in the majority with 44% choosing a Republican majority and 44% choosing a Democratic majority.
Sister station 8News Political Analyst Rich Meagher, who also serves as a Professor of Political Science at Randolph-Macon College, says given President Joe Biden’s low approval ratings, the results aren’t surprising.
“I also think we have to distinguish between kind of general vibes about a party and when it actually comes to voting in the polls,” Meagher said. “People make a choice between candidates, and they tend to come home to the party that they know best and that they favor best.”
However, Meagher says the poll may be skewed because it refers to the Democratic Party as the Democrat Party.
“The Democrat Party as opposed to the Democratic Party is the preferred language of the Republicans,” Meagher said. “They use it kind of like an insult to suggest the Democrats are not exactly as democratic as they claim to be.”
VCU says they have used the terminology for two decades and it doesn’t affect the results.
In the race for the White House, the poll says Biden only holds a three-point lead (43%) over Trump (40%) in a potential rematch next year, despite beating Donald Trump by ten points in Virginia in 2020. But Meagher says this close match-up doesn’t mean necessarily mean Virginia is a swing state.
“We would need to see consistently, support for Republicans among likely voters in the state over time, over the next few months in a bunch of polls for this poll to really swing our understanding of how people vote in Virginia,” Meagher said.
Virginia has not voted for a Republican for President since George W. Bush in 2004.