2023 Virginia Issues Poll

Publication date: October 27, 2023

Written by: Sarah Coffey

The Center for Excellence in Polling recently surveyed likely voters in Virginia on important topics of public interest. Results indicate that voters of all political parties have profound concerns about crime in the state, but also support reforms to education and welfare programs. In addition, trust in Republicans to solve many of these issues is growing.

Crime is a top concern

One-third of likely Virginia voters say that crime and public safety are the issues most important to them—more important than issues like abortion, jobs, taxes, education, and more (33%). An overwhelming majority—79 percent—of likely voters across the political spectrum strongly or somewhat agree that crime rates in Virginia are too high. Interestingly, a plurality of likely voters say they definitely or probably most trust Republicans to handle issues related to crime. This includes 46 percent of Independent voters.

Voters support welfare reform

Likely voters also support helping to get Virginians back to work and off the sidelines while preserving resources for the truly needy. Nearly 70 percent support requiring able-bodied adults under 60 years old with no children under six to work, train, or volunteer at least part time as a condition of eligibility for food stamps.

Virginia voters also support reforms to education

When it comes to education, Virginia voters somewhat or strongly support requiring school boards to publicly disclose all proposed school curricula (81%). This includes strong majorities of Democrat voters (77%) and Independents (82%), and more than half of voters agree that some of the topics public schools are teaching kids are not appropriate (54%).

Trust in Republicans is growing


In both May and September 2023, likely voters in Virginia were polled on which party they most trust to handle important issues facing the commonwealth. On all three key issues, voters, especially Independents, have shifted toward trusting the Republican Party more than the Democrats.


Bottom line

Virginia voters are concerned about crime and public safety, and they trust Republicans to handle those issues. Meanwhile, welfare reforms that implement a work requirement and transparency in education are highly favored as well.