Half of Virginia Democrats still approve of Gov. Ralph Northam despite recent statements supporting late-term abortions and a decades-old photo resurfacing of him allegedly dressed in either KKK garb or blackface, according to a new Morning Consult poll released Monday.
The polling, which was conducted Feb. 2-3, shows that Northam’s approval rating among his own party dropped from 70 percent last month to 50 percent after the incidents. His disapproval rating for the same demographic skyrocketed, jumping from 7 percent to 25 percent, with the remaining individuals surveyed saying they “don’t know/no opinion” on Northam.
Northam’s approval rating among people of all political affiliations dropped from 48 percent to only 29 percent. His disapproval rating among that same larger group jumped from 26 percent to 48 percent.
During an interview Wednesday morning on WTOP, Northam discussed Virginia’s HB 2491 bill, which would allow a doctor to perform an abortion when a woman is about to give birth. The measure would get rid of the state’s current requirement that abortions taking place after the first trimester be performed only when the health or life of the woman is at stake. (RELATED: ‘Unforgivable’: Trump Calls Out Northam Over Racist Photo And Late-Term Abortion Comments)
“If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen,” he said in the interview. “The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”
The Virginia governor said in a follow up press conference that he does not regret his comments.
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) January 31, 2019
Northam received significant backlash for the comments, but they seemed to dissipate when a photo from his 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook resurfaced Friday. The photo on a page dedicated to Northam shows two men, one wearing blackface and the other wearing a KKK outfit.
After the photograph resurfaced, Northam confirmed he was in the photo and apologized for it. In a press conference the following day, though, Northam walked back that admission of guilt and claimed his innocence. (RELATED: Big-Name Democrats Call On Northam To Resign Following Racist Yearbook Photo Controversy)
There has been a widespread call for Northam to step down. Multiple 2020 presidential contenders, such as Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand, all issued statements that he should resign. Virginia Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner did the same, as did certain abortion-focused organizations and the Congressional Black Caucus.