Governor Ralph Northam’s post-birth abortion and blackface scandals are continuing to tank his approval ratings.
Northam has dropped 19 points since December, and despite Virginia going blue, Northam is now less popular in his state than President Donald Trump, whom he called a “narcissistic maniac.”
And the numbers reveal this may doom his party’s shot at taking control of the General Assembly in November.
Northam’s Scandals Continue To Drag Down His Approval
According to a new poll, Ralph Northam’s approval ratings are still in a free fall since his scandals broke earlier this year.1
Northam’s extreme comments on post-birth abortion immediately raised outrage among Republicans that garnered national attention.
Then, a photo from Northam’s 1984 yearbook page featuring a man in blackface, and another person in a KKK costume was revealed.
First, Northam admitted to being in the photo, but the next day denied that he was present in the photo at all.
However, he confessed he wore blackface as a young man to imitate Michael Jackson in a 1984 dance contest.
Latest Poll Spells Bad News For Democrats In Virginia
Northam’s approval rating has dropped to 40 points — down from 59 points in December, before the scandals hit.
Disapproval for Governor Northam is up to 44%.
In the same poll, Trump held a 44% approval rating, a high mark for the President in Virginia.
These numbers mark dim prospects for the Democrat party in November’s election.
Even with the slim Republican majority in both houses.
Republicans currently hold a majority in the House of Delegates by just one seat, and the same one seat majority in the Senate.
According to this latest poll, on a generic ballot, Republicans are four points behind the Democrats, 43 -39.
However, there’s one reason this number isn’t a strong metric for how the election will turn out.
Virginia Republicans typically represent their district more than the Republican Party at large.
If this trend of retail politics continues, the four-point hurdle may not be difficult to overcome.
However, the hang-up for the GOP this November is the case of redistricting.
Court-ruled Redistricting May Hand Democrats Control of Virginia’s Legislature
In January, Federal courts ruled that some district lines in Virginia must change.
A college professor from California was appointed as the Special Master and redesigned the districts to comply with the court’s order.
According to the Washington Post, “Federal judges have selected a Virginia House of Delegates redistricting map that appears to heavily favor Democrats, redrawing the lines of 26 districts and moving several powerful Republicans into unfavorable configurations.”2
This would likely hand Democrats control of the General Assembly this year.
Just two years ago, Democrats swept into office with an unexpected wave, flipping 15 Republican-controlled seats.
And with the federal redistricting case turning more GOP seats into likely-to-flip districts, Republicans must rely heavily on retail politics to maintain control in the legislature.
Under the redistricting plan, “[s]ix Republicans would wind up in districts where a majority of voters chose Democratic President Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election,” the Washington Post¸ reports, “No current Democrats would see their voter majority change to Republican, based on those election results.”
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