A recent Roanoke College survey revealed that Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin would handily defeat President Joe Biden in a one-on-one matchup for the state of Virginia, if they squared off in the 2024 presidential election.
The poll — which chronicled the responses of 585 registered voters in Virginia over a 10-day period (Feb. 12-21) — had the Republican Youngkin (55%) beating Biden (39%) by 16 percentage points in a general election battle.
According to the Roanoke College analysis, "when respondents were asked about whether things in the commonwealth are going in the right direction or have gotten off on the wrong track, there has been an 8-point increase to 55% who think things are going in the right direction, and a 9-point decrease to 39% who think things have gotten off on the wrong track."
The survey also quantified Youngkin's job-approval rating, among Virginia voters, at 57% — or 5 percentage points higher than the governor's approval mark in November.
Roanoke's Institute for Policy and Opinion Research states that Youngkin's job-disapproval rating has gone down 6 percentage points since the last voter survey.
The 35% mark now represents the lowest of any point in Youngkin's tenure as governor.
The analysis continued: "At the national level, 27% think things are going in the right direction in the country and 69% think things have gotten off on the wrong track."
The Democratic Party nominee has won the last four presidential elections in Virginia — President Joe Biden in 2020, Hillary Clinton in 2016, and former President Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.
Prior to that however, the Republicans dominated the presidential races in Virginia, cruising to state victories in 1976 (former President Gerald Ford), 1980 (former President Ronald Reagan), 1984 (Reagan), 1988 (former President George H.W. Bush), 1992 (Bush), 1996 (Bob Dole), 2000 (former President George W. Bush), and 2004 (George W. Bush).
Based on the Roanoke College findings, Youngkin's most difficult political battle would likely come during the Republican primaries, facing off against former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Neither Youngkin nor DeSantis have officially declared their candidacy for 2024.
If Youngkin or DeSantis won the RNC nomination, Roanoke College would have each candidate as a strong favorite over President Biden in the battle for Virginia.
Trump's road, however, might be more cumbersome.
In the event of a hypothetical rematch from 2020, Roanoke College has Biden at 47% and Trump at only 46% in Virginia.
The survey analysis also noted: "While Youngkin has not yet announced a run for president, we found that 34% of Virginians think he should run for president and 54% think he should not. Among Republicans, 42% think he should seek the Republican nomination for president, which is down 10 points from November."
The Roanoke College survey has a margin-of-error rate of approximately 4.2 percentage points.
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