Northam should stay, 48% of Virginia voters say

northamGov. Northam

Should he go or should he stay? That has been the question since it was revealed that Gov. Ralph Northam had appeared in — take your pick — a Klan costume or blackface in his med school college yearbook.

Chiming in with an answer is the Quinnipiac University Poll, which today reports that 48 percent of Virginia voters, including a large percentage of black voters, say Northam should stay. By a much wider 65–26 percent, voters say Gov. Northam should not be impeached.

The ideal fate of Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax is not as clear in voters’ minds. They split 36-36 percent when asked if Fairfax should resign over sexual abuse allegations. But again, a broader margin — 54 to 24 percent — said he should not be impeached.

Likewise, voters said by — 54-22 percent — Attorney General Mark Herring should not quit and 63 percent said he should not be impeached while only 16 percent said he should be. Herring has said he wore blackface at a college event.

However, it doesn’t appear that Northam has escaped fully intact from the episode. Virginia voters give him a negative 39–44 percent approval rating, down from a 49-25 percent positive rating in June 2018.

Wide racial gap

There is a wide racial gap in Northam’s standing as black voters approve 49–24 percent, while white voters disapprove 50 – 36 percent. Black voters say 56 – 31 percent that Northam should not resign, with white voters split 46–46 percent.

Northam is not a racist, Virginia voters say 62 – 21 percent, with little difference between black and white voters. But voters disapprove 69–20 percent of the way he is handling the controversy involving him wearing blackface when he was in his 20s.

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About the Author

James R. Hood
James R. Hood is the editor and publisher of FairfaxNews.com. A former Associated Press editor and executive, he has more than 50 years of reporting experience.