THE ROANOKE COLLEGE POLL: Virginians weigh in on General Assembly issues

Voters largely undecided on 2013 gubernatorial race

Jan 25, 2013, 09:17 ET from The Roanoke College Poll

SALEM, Va., Jan. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Virginians are not favorably inclined toward Gov. Bob McDonnell's transportation funding/tax plan, but they don't like other revenue enhancers either, according to The Roanoke College Poll. Virginia residents are more likely to agree with McDonnell's education proposals, and they are split on allowing uranium mining.

In the likely matchup in November's gubernatorial election, more Virginians are undecided (41%) in their choice for Governor, than those who support Republican Ken Cuccinelli (33%) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe (26%).

The Roanoke College Poll interviewed 583 Virginia residents between Jan. 14 and Jan. 22 and has a margin of error of +/-4.1 percent. 

"Looking ahead to the gubernatorial election, we see two or three candidates who are largely unknown to the general public," said Dr. Harry Wilson, director of the Institute for Policy and Opinion Research. "The unfavorable numbers for both Cuccinelli and McAuliffe suggest that both have to define themselves."

Residents of the Commonwealth remain divided regarding how to deal with funding transportation in Virginia. Shifting funds from other budget areas (28%) is more popular than raising taxes and designating them for highways (24%), creating toll roads (19%) or using existing funds as far as they go (18%).

McDonnell's proposal to eliminate the gas tax while raising the sales tax and some vehicle fees was opposed by almost half (49%) of respondents and favored by just one-third (33%). Poll respondents opposed toll roads (60%); linking the gas tax to inflation (52%); and increasing fees for driver's licenses and vehicle registration (48%). A plurality (49%) favored shifting money from the general revenue fund to increase funding for transportation.

The public is evenly split on lifting the ban on uranium mining in Virginia, with 39 percent favoring mining, while 38 percent are opposed.

Regarding education, a majority (70%) favor tying teachers' raises to performance as well as eliminating tenure for teachers (54%). A majority of residents (66%) favor allowing school systems to begin the school year before Labor Day regardless of the number of weather-related cancellations in previous years.

More results and information may be found here:

SOURCE The Roanoke College Poll