Poll: Virginians Split Over Gov. Ralph Northam’s Future Amid Racist Photo Scandal

Virginians are split over whether Governor Ralph Northam should step down after it was revealed that a photo from the governor’s 1984 medical school yearbook page showed people in blackface and a Ku Klux Klan outfit, according to a poll by The Washington Post. The emergence of the photo has put Virginians in a deadlock over the governor’s future, with 47 percent of those polled wanting him to step down and 47 percent saying he should stay in his post. Surprisingly, according to the poll, African Americans think that Northam should remain in office by a wide margin, despite the offensive image. In fact, Northam counts higher support among black residents than among whites, who are more evenly divided. African Americans say he should remain in office by a margin of 58 percent to 37 percent, according to the poll. The poll also found that 11 percent of Virginia residents have either worn blackface or know someone who has, offering a glimpse into a culture still present in the former Confederate capital.