Poll: Northam approval plummets after blackface photo emerges

Poll: Northam approval plummets after blackface photo emerges
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Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's (D) approval ratings have plummeted since the revelation that his medical school yearbook page included a photo of a man in blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan robe, according to a new poll.

The Morning Consult poll published Monday found that 48 percent of Virginia voters disapprove of Northam's job performance, compared to 26 percent who disapproved in the last poll.

Just 29 percent of voters approve of his performance, down from 48 percent who approved before the photo was revealed.

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Among Democrats in Virginia, the poll found that Northam has the approval of 50 percent of respondents — down from 70 percent in the last poll. Meanwhile, 25 percent of Democratic respondents disapprove, up from 7 percent in the previous poll. 

Independents and Republicans also view him less favorably, with 49 percent of independents and 73 percent of Republicans in the poll reporting that they disapprove of Northam. That's up from 24 percent of independents and 49 percent of Republicans who said they disapproved of Northam in the previous poll.

The new poll was based on surveys of 291 Virginia voters from Feb. 2-3. The poll has a margin of error of 6 percentage points.

Northam has faced near-universal calls from Democrats in Virginia and across the party's establishment to step aside following the emergence of the yearbook photo, but he has so far defied those calls.

Northam initially apologized for the photo on Friday before saying Saturday that he isn't either of the two people who appear in the picture.