Virginia voters evenly split on whether Fairfax should resign

Virginia voters are split on whether Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) should resign, according to a new poll released Wednesday.

Respondents in Quinnipiac University's survey were evenly split on a resignation, with 36 percent saying the embattled second in command in Virginia should resign and 36 percent believing he should stay in his position.

Fairfax has been accused of sexual assault by two women. He has denied both of the allegations.

Twelve percent of Virginia voters believe Fairfax's denials, while 37 percent believe his two accusers, with 51 percent undecided.

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Fifty-four percent of Virginia voters said Fairfax should not be impeached, compared to 24 percent who want him removed from office.

Fairfax is facing the allegations at a time when Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) has also faced calls to resign after a photo emerged in his 1984 medical school yearbook page showing an individual in blackface next to one in a Ku Klux Klan robe.

Northam initially apologized for appearing in the photo, but later insisted he was not in the image. He did acknowledge that he once wore blackface to dress up like Michael Jackson for a dance contest.

The governor has resisted calls to resign.

"Perhaps working to Northam's benefit is that Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax is viewed much, much more negatively as he faces sexual assault and rape allegations. And voters say by very strong margins they don't believe his denials," Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said.

Quinnipiac surveyed 1,150 Virginia voters from Feb. 14 to 18. The margin of error for the sample is 4.2 percentage points.

The results of Quinnipiac's survey show significantly better results for Fairfax than a poll from the University of Virginia Center for Politics–Ipsos also released Wednesday.

That survey had 35 percent of respondents saying Fairfax should resign, and 25 percent said he should not. U.Va. surveyed 636 Virginia residents from Feb. 15 to 19 and had a margin of error of 4 percentage points for their sample.