March 26, 2014 - Optimistic Virginia Voters Give McAuliffe Ok Grades, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Support For Minimum Wage Hike Tops 2-1
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Virginia voters say 57 - 32 percent that they are optimistic about the next four years with their new governor, Terry McAuliffe, and give him a cautious 44 - 29 percent approval rating, with 27 percent undecided, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

A total of 56 percent of voters are "very satisfied" or "somewhat satisfied" with the way things are going in the Commonwealth, while 43 percent are "somewhat dissatisfied" or "very dissatisfied," the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

Gov. McAuliffe's approval rating is 69 - 12 percent among Democrats and 41 - 28 percent among independent voters, with a negative 22 - 50 percent among Republicans. Men approve 42 - 33 percent and women approve 46 - 27 percent.

Many Virginia voters remain undecided about McAuliffe as they give him modest grades on his personal characteristics:
  • 44 - 34 percent that he is honest and trustworthy;
  • 53 - 31 percent that he has strong leadership qualities;
  • 46 - 41 percent that he cares about their needs and problems.
"Gov. Terry McAuliffe's initial report card from Virginia voters is good, but not great. A plurality - but not a majority - approves of his early days in the governor's mansion and for the most part he gets similar ratings when voters are asked about his personal characteristics. The exception is that a majority see him as a strong leader," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. "His support has the expected partisan skew - he does very well among Democrats, poorly among Republicans, while his 13-point margin among independent voters gets him his positive overall rating. His approval rating among women is only slightly better than his approval among men."

"Virginians are optimistic about the future under their new governor, and a majority is satisfied with the way things are going in their state, better than the voter outlook in some other parts of the country," Brown added.

In an open-ended question, allowing for any answer, a total of 27 percent of Virginia voters list the economy and jobs as the top priority for the governor and State Legislature, with 13 percent citing education and 9 percent listing health care. Only 4 percent list taxes, lower than in most other states surveyed by Quinnipiac University.

Voters approve 41 - 33 percent of the way McAuliffe is handling the economy and jobs. A total of 57 percent of voters say the state's economy is excellent or good, while 41 percent say the economy is not so good or poor.

Minimum Wage

Virginia voter's support 66 - 31 percent raising the state's $7.25 per hour minimum wage. Support is 96 - 3 percent among Democrats and 60 - 36 percent among independent voters. Republicans are opposed 56 - 41 percent. Women want a higher wage 73 - 25 percent while men support it 59 - 39 percent.

Offered four choices:
  • 26 percent want to increase the minimum wage to $9.25 per hour;
  • 6 percent want to increase it to something less than $9.25 per hour;
  • 32 percent want to increase it to more than $9.25 per hour;
  • 31 percent oppose any increase.
Increasing the minimum wage would help the state economy, 49 percent of voters say, while 33 percent say it would hurt the economy and 15 percent say it would have no effect.

"Virginia voters feel good about the Commonwealth's economy, but still say it is the top priority in Richmond," Brown said. "The number of voters who cite taxes as a priority is low.

"Support for hiking the minimum wage is consistent with what Quinnipiac University has seen in surveys of other states."

From March 19 - 24, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,288 voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, Iowa and the nation as a public service and for research.

For more information, visit http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.

14. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Terry McAuliffe is handling his job as Governor?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Approve              44%    22%    69%    41%    42%    46%    39%    46%    47%    41%
Disapprove           29     50     12     28     33     27     30     26     30     33
DK/NA                27     28     19     31     26     27     31     28     23     26
 
 
15. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Approve              37%    36%    34%    41%    41%    34%    46%    40%    35%    31%
Disapprove           45     42     48     44     41     47     36     43     48     48
DK/NA                18     21     18     15     17     19     18     17     17     21
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job? (*High also 48% Jun 2011)
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Mar 26  Sep 19  Aug 22  Jul 17  May 15  Sep 14  Mar 26  
                     2014    2013    2013    2013    2013    2011*   2014    
                                                                             
Approve              37      42      40      41      38      48      37      
Disapprove           45      41      46      42      42      34      45      
DK/NA                18      17      14      18      20      18      18      
 
 
20. In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in Virginia today; are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Very satisfied        6%     4%     9%     5%     7%     5%     5%     7%     6%     4%
Smwht satisfied      50     36     63     50     50     50     44     52     52     48
Smwht dissatisfied   31     42     21     32     31     31     41     29     28     31
Very dissatisfied    12     18      5     13     12     12      8     10     13     16
DK/NA                 1      -      2      1      1      2      2      1      1      1
 
TREND: In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in Virginia today; are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied? (*High also 68% Jun 2011)
                                                             VERY+SMWHT SAT
                                                             High    Low
                     Mar 26  Sep 19  Aug 22  Jul 17  May 15  Sep 14  Mar 26  
                     2014    2013    2013    2013    2013    2011*   2014    
                                                                             
Very satisfied        6       8       8       8       8      13       6      
Smwht satisfied      50      52      52      54      54      55      50      
Smwht dissatisfied   31      30      29      26      26      24      31      
Very dissatisfied    12      11      11      11      11       7      12      
DK/NA                 1       1       1       1       1       1       1      
 
 
21. Are you generally optimistic or pessimistic about the next four years with Terry McAuliffe as governor?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Optimistic           57%    33%    84%    54%    55%    59%    58%    61%    58%    52%
Pessimistic          32     55      7     35     36     29     28     31     32     35
DK/NA                11     13      8     10      9     12     13      9     10     13
 
 
22. What do you think should be the top priority for Governor McAuliffe and the State Legislature in 2014?
                            Tot
 
Economy(General)             7%
Jobs/Unemployment           19
Economy(Other Specific)      1
 
Wages/Minimum Wage           1
 
Income inequality            1
 
Budget(General)              3
Government spending          1
 
Taxes(General)               4
 
Education(General)          12
Education(Other Specific)    1
 
Healthcare                   9
Medicaid                     4
Lack/Quality of Publ Transp  3
Roads/Traffic/Infrastructure 3
Elderly Issues               2
Abortion                     1
Environment                  1
Gay marriage/Gay Issues      1
Gun Issues/Policy/Control    1
Immigration Issues           1
Marijuana                    1
 
Caring about people          1
 
Other                       10
DK/NA                       12
 
 
23. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Terry McAuliffe is handling the economy and jobs?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Approve              41%    16%    65%    39%    41%    42%    45%    42%    42%    37%
Disapprove           33     58     14     31     35     31     30     34     34     30
DK/NA                26     26     20     30     24     28     25     24     24     33
 
 
24. Would you say that Terry McAuliffe - is honest and trustworthy or not?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Yes                  44%    22%    71%    39%    42%    46%    42%    45%    45%    44%
No                   34     54     10     38     38     31     39     35     33     31
DK/NA                22     24     19     23     20     24     19     21     22     25
 
 
25. Would you say that Terry McAuliffe - has strong leadership qualities or not?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Yes                  53%    32%    80%    48%    51%    56%    59%    54%    54%    50%
No                   31     50     11     33     35     27     26     33     30     32
DK/NA                16     18      9     19     13     17     15     13     16     18
 
 
26. Would you say that Terry McAuliffe - cares about the needs and problems of people like you or not?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Yes                  46%    23%    75%    41%    46%    47%    45%    50%    46%    45%
No                   41     61     17     46     43     40     43     41     41     41
DK/NA                12     16      9     13     11     13     12     10     13     15
 
 
27. Do you think Terry McAuliffe is too liberal, too conservative, or about right?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Liberal              36%    69%     8%    38%    42%    31%    28%    36%    36%    41%
Conservative          7      4     11      4      5      8     12      7      7      3
About right          44     13     73     43     41     46     40     46     44     44
DK/NA                14     14      8     15     12     15     20     11     13     13
 
TREND: Do you think Terry McAuliffe is too liberal, too conservative, or about right?
                     Mar 26  Jul 18  May 16  Mar 27
                     2014    2013    2013    2013
 
Liberal              36      26      22      21
Conservative          7       4       4       4
About right          44      36      33      29
DK/NA                14      35      41      45
 
 
28. Would you describe the state of Virginia's economy these days as excellent, good, not so good, or poor?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Excellent             4%     2%     7%     2%     4%     3%     9%     5%     2%     2%
Good                 53     44     59     56     55     52     47     57     55     51
Not so good          31     39     27     32     31     32     34     30     30     34
Poor                 10     14      6      9      8     11     10      9     11      9
DK/NA                 2      1      1      1      1      2      1      -      1      3
 
 
29. Do you think Virginia's economy is getting better, getting worse, or staying about the same?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Better               28%    11%    43%    28%    29%    27%    28%    33%    25%    22%
Worse                18     32      7     19     17     20     15     20     19     17
The same             51     57     46     52     52     51     53     46     55     56
DK/NA                 3      1      4      1      2      3      3      2      1      4
 
 
30. Would you support or oppose raising Virginia's minimum wage, which is now $7.25 an hour?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Support              66%    41%    96%    60%    59%    73%    60%    66%    68%    68%
Oppose               31     56      3     36     39     25     40     31     29     29
DK/NA                 3      3      1      4      2      3      1      3      3      3
 
 
31. (If support q30) Do you think that Virginia's minimum wage should be $9.25 an hour, should be less than $9.25 an hour, or should be more than $9.25 an hour?
                     SUPPORTS INCREASE Q30.................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Exactly $9.25        40%    52%    33%    45%    38%    41%
Less than $9.25      10     20      4     14      9     10
More than $9.25      49     25     61     40     50     48
DK/NA                 2      3      2      1      2      2
 
 
31a. (COMBINED Q30 & Q31) Would you support or oppose raising Virginia's minimum wage, which is now $7.25 an hour? IF SUPPORT: Do you think that Virginia's minimum wage should be $9.25 an hour, should be less than $9.25 an hour, or should be more than $9.25 an hour?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Increase to $9.25    26%    21%    32%    27%    23%    30%    24%    26%    29%    25%
Increase < $9.25      6      8      4      8      5      7      9      6      5      7
Increase > $9.25     32     10     58     24     30     35     26     33     33     35
Oppose increase      31     56      3     36     39     25     40     31     29     29
DK/NA                 4      4      3      4      3      4      1      4      4      4
 
 
32. Do you think an increase in Virginia's minimum wage would help the state's economy, hurt the state's economy, or wouldn't affect the state's economy?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Help                 49%    22%    77%    45%    44%    52%    54%    47%    47%    50%
Hurt                 33     59      6     35     39     28     35     34     32     30
Wouldn't affect      15     15     14     17     14     15      9     16     16     16
DK/NA                 4      4      3      3      2      5      2      3      5      5
 
 

Demographic Summary

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