Virginia Voters Back Gun Control Ahead of G.A. Session

CNU Poll Shows Mostly Support for Democrat Agenda

December 16, 2019 - 12:45 pm

Andy Doernen/Newsradio WRVA


(NEWPORT NEWS, Va.) -- The new Democrat majority in the General Assembly has strong support among voters for key parts of its agenda, including enacting more gun restrictions, passing the Equal Rights Amendment, increasing the minimum wage and decrimnalizing marijuana possession. That's according to a new poll by the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University. 

Voters also support passage of the state constitutional amendment to create a redistricting commission, reforming the system that allows legislators to redraw their own districts. But voters don't want the legislature to give local governments authority to decide whether to remove or alter Confederate monuments.

"This survey suggests there's pent-up demand among voters for a lot of the Democrats' policy agenda," said Wason Center Director Quentin Kidd. "There's pent-up demand in the Democrats' caucus, too, and it will be revealing to see what legislation the new majority prioritizes now that they're in power.

The 2020 General Assembly session opens Jan. 8. For the first time in a generation, Democrats will be in full control, with majorities in the House of Delegates and the State Senate and a Democratic governor.

Some of the findings of the survey:

  • Voters strongly support requiring background checks on all gun sales (86%-13%) and passing a 'red flag' law (73%-23%); a slight majority (54%-44%) support banning assault-style weapons.
  • Voters strongly back the Equal Rights Amendment (80%-13%).
  • A slight majority oppose giving localities authority to remove or alter Confederate monuments (51%-44%).
  • Voters strongly support decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana (83%-14%).
  • Voters strongly support raising the minimum wage (72%-28%)
  • Voters strongly support automatic voter registration (64%-31%), but slightly oppose no-excuse absentee voting (51%-44%)
  • Voters strongly support passage of the redistricting reform constitutional amendment (70%-15)

The Wason Center conducted 901 interviews of registered Virginia voters, November 11-22, 2019. The margin of error for the survey is +/- 3.4%