Poll: Most Virginia voters want Northam to stay in office

Most Virginians want Governor Ralph Northam to stay in office, according to new polling.

The poll by Quinnipiac University says 48 percent of Virginia voters want Northam to stick around, compared to 42 percent who say he needs to resign.

The poll also looked specifically at African American voters and found 56 percent say Northam should stay.

FOX 5 spoke to people in Arlington and found mixed opinions.

Paul Romano said he feels Northam should step down and the polling surprises him.

"It does and it really surprises me with the African American community -- the majority of them wanting him to stay," Romano said.

"I don't feel that he needs to step down," said Chasity Hawkins. "I just feel like, what are we going to do moving forward?"

It's been nearly three weeks since a photo on the governor's medical school yearbook page surfaced showing one person in blackface and another in a KKK robe. At first, Northam admitted to being in the picture, then he said he wasn't in the photo and doesn't know why it was on his page.

Soon after that, Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax came under fire when two women accused him of sex assault.

According to the Quinnipiac poll, voters were evenly split, 36 percent to 36 percent on whether Fairfax should resign.

Since the scandals broke and time has ticked on, public opinion has moved in favor of Northam and Fairfax. With impeachment seeming unlikely, public opinion could make all the difference.

"I don't know if the public pressure is strong enough to get either Northam or Fairfax to resign," said Kyle Kondik with University of Virginia Center for Politics.

A new University of Virginia Center for Politics/Ipsos poll shows Northam's approval rating has hit an all-time low and stands at just 17 percent among those surveyed. But it's just not translating into calls for resignation.

"People maybe are moving on or sort of forgetting about it," said Kondik. "And I'm not saying they should or they shouldn't. It just sort of seems like the reality of now is that these scandals, even when they're really big news, they can fade from the news really quickly."