From Wason Center for Public Policy :– A majority of Virginia voters say the country is loosening restrictions related to Covid-19 too quickly (54%), and more voters say Democratic nominee Joe Biden (48%) would be better at responding to the pandemic than President Donald Trump (36%), according to a survey of likely voters released today by the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University. “To the extent that the presidential election is about Covid-19, voters in Virginia are standing with Biden,” Wason Center Research Director Rebecca Bromley-Trujillo said. Compared with the nation, a plurality of Virginia voters say the state’s reopening pace is about right (47%), with the remainder divided over wanting more restrictions (24%) or fewer restrictions (29%). A similar pattern shows about K-12 school opening, as voters prefer a hybrid model (46%) to all-virtual (28%) or fully in-person (23%).
The survey also asked about police misconduct and use of force, including reforms now before the Virginia General Assembly. Strong majorities support requiring training on de-escalation (96%), requiring body cameras (95%), requiring officers to intervene when a colleague uses unlawful force (94%), requiring public reports when force is used (76%), establishing a public database on misconduct ((76%) and creating civilian oversight boards (70%). By slimmer majorities, voters support criminalizing chokeholds (56%-42%) and allowing civilians to sue for misconduct (52%-44%). Voters narrowly oppose banning police use of military-gradeweapons (50%-47%). Voters view police positively on protecting people from crime (64%) but negatively on treatment of racial groups (65%), use of force (54%) and holding officers accountable for misconduct (61%).
“Majorities across all demographic groups – white, Black, men, women, young, old, college or not — give police poor marks on race,” Wason Center Academic Director Quentin Kidd said. “But there’s a partisan divide. Solid majorities of Democrats and Independents rate police poorly on race, but nearly two out of three Republicans say police treat racial and ethnic groups equally.”The Wason Center interviewed 796 registered Virginia voters on cell phone and landline, September 9-21. The margin of error for the whole survey is +/-3.9%. The full report is attached.