The Campaign Spot

Bob McDonnell, Struggling With His Mere 62 Percent Approval Rating

Virginia’s Bob McDonnell should be putting on a clinic entitled “How to Be a Popular Governor.” The latest from Quinnipiac:

Virginia voters are three times more satisfied with the ways things are going in the commonwealth than they are about the state of the country, as Gov. Bob McDonnell remains wildly popular with voters with a 62 – 22 percent job approval rating, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Virginians say 52 – 42 percent that putting tolls on parts of Interstate 95 is a bad idea, but they would favor increasing tolls rather than raising gasoline taxes 60 – 28 percent if money is used to pay for road repairs in the state, the independent Quinnipiac University poll finds.

“Overwhelmingly, Virginia voters are happy with what’s going on in Richmond, but not so much with what’s coming out of Washington,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling institute. Only 2 percent of voters are “very satisfied with the way things are going in the nation today,” compared to 10 percent who are “very satisfied” with the way things are going in Virginia. Another 17 percent are “somewhat satisfied” with things nationally compared to 56 percent who feel that way about the commonwealth. In all, 19 percent are very or somewhat satisfied about the country compared to 66 percent who are satisfied with life in Virginia. Quinnipiac University Poll/October 12, 2011 – page 2

“By more than 3-1, Virginians are happy with what’s going on in the state compared to the country and this optimism shows in their views of state politicians. All statewide elected officials, and even the State Legislature, get thumbs up for their job performance,” said Brown. “In these tough times that is pretty remarkable.” “While there are some partisan differences in Gov. Bob McDonnell’s approval rating, even Democrats tie 40 – 40 percent in their approval of his job performance,” said Brown.

Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling has a 35 – 17 percent approval rating; Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is at 46 – 30 percent; U.S. Sen. Mark Warner has 61 – 24 percent and U.S. Sen. Jim Webb is at 51 – 27 percent.

They didn’t even mention that among African-Americans, McDonnell rates 47 percent favorable, 32 percent unfavorable.

It’s way too early to say which way Virginia will vote in 2012, but the fact that voters are drawing a distinction between their state’s outlook and the national outlook is probably ominous news for President Obama.

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