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Poll: 61 percent of Virginia Republican voters say Biden win was not legitimate

The survey also shows voters blame the feds, not the state, for a slow vaccination rollout.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — A remarkable new poll reveals that there is a major split among Virginia voters over whether they believe that President Joe Biden was legitimately elected.

The new survey from the Wason Center at Christopher Newport University shows 68% of Virginia voters overall believe that Biden's election victory was legitimate. 

But 61% of Virginia Republican voters surveyed say Biden did not win legitimately.

As a matter of fact, Biden won the presidential election last November by more than seven million popular votes. The results were certified by all 50 states. Legal challenges were tossed out in more than 60 state and federal courts.

On Monday, the Supreme Court rejected election challenges filed by former President Donald Trump and his allies in five states Biden won: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Still, many people say they just don't believe it, according to the poll.

Respondents were asked, did Joe Biden win the presidency legitimately?

One hundred percent of Democrats said yes. Sixty-one percent of Republicans said no.

"So, about a quarter of all voters believe the election for President of the United States was not legitimate," said the pollster, CNU Political Science Professor Quentin Kidd, who also serves as academic director of the Wason Center.  "That's scary."

Quentin suspects poll participants weren't totally forthcoming in their answers.

"I think it may be a lot of Republicans that say, 'Deep down intellectually, I understand the truth, but I'm still fighting for my side, I'm still fighting for my cause, so I'm intentionally going to say I don't believe the election, even though I know what happened.'" said Kidd. "I think there's a large part of that going on."

Kidd continued: “This is the new Lost Cause in Virginia politics. A solid majority of Republican voters’ refusal to accept the legitimacy of Biden’s election is bound to stir up the contest for the Republican nomination for governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general.”

About 56% of Virginia voters say Biden will be a successful president compared to 69% of Republican voters who say he will be unsuccessful to 2% of Democrats and 33% of independent voters.

RELATED: Poll: Chase leads Cox in GOP bid, McAuliffe ahead of other Democratic candidates in Virginia governor race

When it comes to past presidents, 54% of Virginia voters say former President Donald Trump is worse.

The survey also asked about other key issues including the COVID-19 pandemic, economy, climate change, health care, racial inequality, and immigration.

More than twice as many voters blame the federal government (46%) than the state government (20%) for the slow rollout of the COVID-19 vaccinations, according to the poll. 

Here are some other key findings:

  1.  A majority of Virginia voters are confident that Biden will strike the right balance in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic (64%) and racial inequality (53%).
  2. President Joe Biden’s approval rating sits at 57%, and he receives his highest marks for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic (67% approve to 25% disapprove).

The results of this survey are based on interviews of 1,005 Virginia registered voters, conducted Jan. 31-Feb. 14, 2021. 

The margin of error for the whole survey is +/-3.4%. Read the full report at  The Wason Center website.