CNU Polls — Post-Trump Shift Happening in Virginia

by Chris Saxman

Folks, we have a ball game in Virginia.

Christopher Newport University’s Wason Center released another poll today and VPM’s headline captured the catnip as their headline writer wrote, “New Virginia Poll Shows Support for Progressive Ideas, but Not Labels.” It should have read “Virginians are centrists but like free stuff.”

In that VPM report (VPM is PBS/NPR’s new label – irony noted) is this quote from CNU’s Rebecca Bromley-Trujillo:

“Americans as a whole tend to lean conservative in their ideology,” Bromley-Trujillo said. “And this usually is kind of based on broad values, like liberty or small government. But when you get into specific policy proposals, then you see more support for Democratic policies.”

This is not new. This is also why we put the Iraq and Afghanistan wars on our kids’ credit cards. This is also why we fight incessantly over health care — everyone wants Mayo Clinic level care on their street corner, but no one wants to pay for it.

Oh no? Disagree?

Q1 – how long would you stay at a wedding reception that was Cash Bar?

Q2 – how excited would you be for opening your presents on Christmas morning if you had to pay for them?

Answers – Q1 – not long; Q2 – not as much.

I did a full on pre-dawn Nerd Dive into the other questions CNU asked to verify my observations that Virginia is a much different state/Commonwealth politically with Donald Trump no longer tweeting behind the Resolute Desk.

Cue ABC’s Keith Jackson’s WHOA NELLY! :

Back in their February poll, CNU showed that Virginia was 47 to 42 Center Right over Center Left, but the brand of the Center Right party – the Republicans – was much further to the Right than the Democrats were to the Left. #MisAlignment #Losing #ModerateDemocratsWinning

Today’s poll has it at 50-42 Center Right over Center Left or a +3 move to the Center Right Losing Party.

In February, the party Self ID was:

Democrat – 38

Republican – 25

Independent – 34.

Today, the party Self ID is:

Democrat – 29 (down 9)

Republican – 27 (up 2)

Independent – 38 (up 4)

When you throw in Leaning Democratic and Leaning Republican, here’s what you get:


Democrat – 49 (+12)

Republican – 37

Independent – 15


Democrat – 44 (+2)

Republican – 42

Independent – 11

Wow – so it’s closed that much in just three months? Nope.

It closed that much in just one month.

Wait. February was three months ago, what gives?

Well, when you read the actually polling dates you find that the May release was conducted in early MARCH not May!

Making sure this wasn’t an error, I texted CNU’s Quentin Kidd for verification.

The poll released today was, in fact, conducted in early March.

Recall the November election results:

Joe Biden +11

Mark Warner +12

Cong. Jennifer Wexton (VA10) + 13

Cong. Abigail Spanberger (VA7) +5.5

Cong. Elaine Luria (VA2) +1.8

CNU’s November 2020 poll went Democrats/Republicans/Independents 45-30-25.

Trump lost 55-44, Dems +11 with local candidates slightly leading the ballot.

January 6th then Inauguration Day.

Poll 1 early February, Dems +12

Poll 2 early March, Dems +2

Here’s how CNU had it the week before election day in 2013.

McAuliffe +7 or 45-38

Northam +16 or 51-35

Herring +2 or 45-43

Here’s how that ended:

McAuliffe +2.5 or 47.7 to 45.2

Northam +10.6 or 55.1 to 44.5

Herring +0.01 or 49.88 to 49.87

Today it is 44-42. Can you say Status Quo Ante?

With Donald Trump gone, the political tide has shifted here in Virginia, but we still like free stuff.

And just like that, we have a ball game here in the Commonwealth.