Voters favor hospitals’ bid to pay for Medicaid expansion, reject ‘religious freedom’ case for denying service to gays; Gun control continues to move voters in swing-state Virginia
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A strong majority of Virginia voters say the General Assembly should expand Medicaid eligibility under Obamacare, and they like private hospitals’ offer to pay the state’s share of that expansion, according to poll results released today by the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University.
“The hospitals’ offer definitely made Medicaid expansion more appealing -- softening resistance among Republicans and conservatives in the survey who otherwise most strongly oppose the expansion,” said Dr. Quentin Kidd, director of the Wason Center.
“At the same time, some supporters, especially women, say they share opponents’ worry that the federal government may not put up its full share.”
Here’s a sample of the survey results on some other issues before the current legislative session:
In addition to other issues now before the General Assembly, the survey tested voters’ opinions about several Republicans and Democrats considered prospects for the 2017 gubernatorial election.
- On LGBT rights, 57 percent oppose a proposal to allow businesses to refuse services to gay and lesbian couples based upon religious beliefs. “The Virginia electorate has moved dramatically on same sex marriage since voters banned it by approving the Virginia Marriage Amendment in 2006,” said Kidd.
- On gun laws, a small but significant majority (55%) say it is more important to control who can buy guns than it is to protect the right to own guns (41%). “Candidates who campaign on gun control in Virginia will depend upon key elements of the electorate showing up to vote: women, minorities, independents and voters under 45,” Kidd said. “That’s why Democrats are more eager to talk about gun control these days.”
- On redistricting, a majority (51%) backs creation of an independent commission to draw election district boundaries, but the responses show a partisan gulf, with Democrats in support and Republicans opposed. However, majorities of Republicans (53%) and Democrats (52%) agree that partisan voting data should be banned from the process of shaping legislative districts.
The Wason Center survey was based on interviews with 804 registered voters, conducted January 18-19. The margin of error overall is +/- 3.5%.More findings on the "flip," including approval/disapproval ratings for Gov. McAuliffe, LG Ralph Northam, AG Mark Herring, etc.
- Terry McAuliffe has a 45%-32% (+13) approval rating as governor, down sharply from 53%-23% (+30) in September 2015.
- Virginia are basically even divided (40%-41%) on whether the state is moving in the right direction or wrong direction.
- AG Mark Herring gets a 33%-27% (+6) approval/disapproval rating, down sharply from 39%-19% (+20) in September 2015.
- LG Ralph Northam gets a 26%-12% (+14) approval/disapproval rating, the same as in September 2015. A whopping 63% have no opinion.
- Ed Gillespie has a 22%-13% approval/disapproval rating.
- Ken Cuccinelli has a 31%-29% approval/disapproval rating. It boggles my mind that there can even be 31% of Virginians who approve of this extremist, but on the other hand, Trump is leading the GOP field right now...
- By a 62%-29% margin, Virginia support hospitals' offer "to make contributions so that hospitals - not taxpayers - cover the state’s 10% cost" of Medicaid expansion.
- By an enormous, overwhelming 88%-10% margin, Virginians support " Making private gun sales and sales at guns shows subject to background checks."
- By a 62%-33% margin, Virginians support a "ban on assault-style weapons."
- By a massive 84%-14% margin, Virginians oppose allowing "anyone who legally owns a gun to conceal carry without a permit."