Hampton, Va. – While attitudes are changing, and policies shifting nationally for same-sex couples, Virginians are evenly split on the idea of legalizing same-sex marriage in the Commonwealth, according to a new statewide survey by the Hampton University Center for Public Policy. The poll was conducted Feb. 6, 8, and 9 and included 803 registered, likely voters. While 47 percent are for, 46 percent of those surveyed are against allowing same-sex couples to legally marry in Virginia.
At the beginning of 2014, Attorney General Mark Herring announced his decision not to defend the ban on same-sex marriage in Virginia, calling it unconstitutional. Forty seven percent of Virginians disagree with Herring’s decision not to defend Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage and 43 percent agree and 11 percent offered no opinion.
Survey respondents also weighed in with overwhelming support 68 - 27 percent for the new law requiring voters to show some form of picture identification to vote. Online voter registration is another law new in the Commonwealth this year. Of the likely voters surveyed, responses overall are identical in support 46 - 46 percent of the ability to register online. However, the divide comes from different age groups. Those individuals surveyed under the age of 49 support online voter registration nearly three to one to those who are over the age of 50.
Despite a federal indictment after leaving office, respondents surveyed reserve judgment on guilt, but rate the job performance of former Governor Bob McDonnell while in office very high, 58 percent approve, 26 percent disapprove and 16 percent didn’t know. In the indictment, charges include making false statements, and, conspiracy to defraud the citizens of Virginia of their right to honest services. Overwhelmingly, 40 percent of those surveyed say they “don’t know” or were “not sure” whether McDonnell was guilty or not guilty, and 36 percent said he is guilty, while 24 percent responded not guilty.
The Center for Public Policy is an objective, non-partisan source for information and solutions on a variety of topics. Along with Hampton University's mission of education and service, the Center for Public Policy stands to serve as the pulse of the people of Virginia. For more information on the Hampton University Center for Public Policy call 757-727-5426 or visit www.hamptonu.edu/cpp.