More than 90 percent of Virginians likely to vote in the upcoming gubernatorial election support the state’s Bay cleanup plan, according to a poll conducted on behalf of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
The poll was conducted by a bipartisan research team that in July telephoned more than 600 registered voters who have a history of participating in gubernatorial elections.
“It’s rare that we can find any topic that has 92 percent support,” said David Metz, a partner with the research firm Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates who helped to conduct the poll.
Nearly three-quarters of those polled said they don’t see a conflict between protecting water quality in the Bay and its watershed and having a strong economy in the commonwealth.
The poll also asked participants what type of candidate they would support, based on his or her stance toward the Bay cleanup. Sixty-five percent said they’d support a candidate who continues to implement Virginia’s plan to reduce pollution in its waterways, while fewer than a third said water quality was not as important as the economy when considering a candidate.
Overall, participants ranked Bay-related tourism and recreation above manufacturing and mining when asked which industries were most important to the state’s economy.
Ann Jennings, the CBF’s Virginia executive director, said that while the poll wasn’t specifically timed for the November election, it is intended to offer insight into where voters stand. The state has four years to achieve 60 percent of the pollution reduction goals laid out in the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load.