Using quantum devices supported by classical computational resources is a promising approach to quantum-enabled computation. One powerful example of such a hybrid quantum-classical approach optimized for classically intractable eigenvalue problems is the variational quantum eigensolver, built to utilize quantum resources for the solution of eigenvalue problems and optimizations with minimal coherence time requirements by leveraging classical computational resources. These algorithms have been placed as leaders among the candidates for the first to achieve supremacy over classical computation. Here, we provide evidence for the conjecture that variational approaches can automatically suppress even nonsystematic decoherence errors by introducing an exactly solvable channel model of variational state preparation. Moreover, we develop a more general hierarchy of measurement and classical computation that allows one to obtain increasingly accurate solutions by leveraging additional measurements and classical resources. We demonstrate numerically on a sample electronic system that this method both allows for the accurate determination of excited electronic states as well as reduces the impact of decoherence, without using any additional quantum coherence time or formal error-correction codes.