In a new poll conducted of likely Virginia voters, the approval numbers for President Biden, who won the state by 10 points in 2020 over former President Trump, are underwater by a whopping ten points, with 42% of respondents approving of his performance as president while 52% of respondents disapproved. Voters between the ages of 18-45 and 65 or older were much more disapproving of Biden than voters ages 46-65.
Biden’s 10-point margin of victory in 2020 was the biggest for a Democrat in the state since Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1944.
In another sign that voters seem dissatisfied with Biden, the poll asked, “Do you think things in the country are generally going in the right direction or do you think things have gotten off on the wrong track?” A massive two-thirds of voters (66.4%) felt the country was on the wrong track.
The Suffolk/USA Today poll also found that the race for governor of Virginia between former governor Terry McAuliffe for the Democrats and GOP candidate Glenn Youngkin is a virtual dead heat, with McAuliffe garnering 45.6% of the vote and Youngkin getting 45.2%.
Roughly one-quarter of respondents (22.6%) said that education was the issue that mattered most to them; the only issue that garnered more than that was the economy, where 39.6 of respondents claimed it was the most important issue.
In a clear sign that voters felt parents should have more of an influence on a school’s curriculum than school boards, a hot issue in Virginia with the Loudoun County and Fairfax County school boards under fire over the last year, 50% of respondents felt that parents should have more influence while 39% felt school boards should be more dominant.
Youngkin is seizing parents’ anger over curricula in schools to gain headway against McAuliffe; on Monday, he released an ad that immediately went viral, showing the woman who fought for parents to have the option of having their children opt out of reading a book about slavery and racism with graphic descriptions, including descriptions of bestiality.
Laura Murphy, who in 2013 served as the advanced academic chairwoman of the school’s Parent Teacher Student Association, challenged the Fairfax County School Board, arguing that students should be allowed to be exempted from reading various books. The Washington Examiner reported in 2013:
The school system should maintain an “alternative book policy” allowing students to pick from a list of books with less graphic content to read and allowing students to be excused from discussions about books like “Beloved,” “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison and “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy, all of which Murphy’s oldest son read in his 12th-grade AP English class and all of which feature content like incest, rape, cannibalism and murder, Murphy said.
Fairfax County school officials denied Murphy’s request, prompting her to appeal to the state Board of Education. “Murphy eventually took her fight to the Republican-led General Assembly, which in 2016 passed a bill with bipartisan support to give parents the right to opt their children out of sexually explicit reading assignments,” The Washington Post noted, adding, “McAuliffe vetoed it as well as a similar bill in 2017.”
The Washington Post acknowledged of the new ad, “The ad was viewed more than 200,000 times and shared on Twitter more than 1,000 times in the first few hours it was up.”