Home Poll: Voters not happy with McDonnell’s handling of scandal

Poll: Voters not happy with McDonnell’s handling of scandal


bob-mcdonnell-linksVirginia women have turned on Gov. Bob McDonnell, pushing his job approval rating to a new low of 46-37 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.  Voters still say 44-36 percent that the governor is honest and trustworthy and only 16 percent of voters, most of whom are Democrats, think he should resign.

In today’s survey, 40 percent of women approve and 42 percent disapprove of the job Gov. McDonnell is doing.  This compares to the results of a May 15 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University when women approved 45-30 percent, giving the governor an overall 49-28 percent approval.

Voters say 41-30 percent they are not satisfied with the way the governor is handling the controversy surrounding him.  Looking at the allegations, 27 percent think the wrong-doing is serious and 5 percent say not serious, while 16 percent say he is not involved in any wrong-doing, with 49 percent saying they haven’t heard enough about this.

And 60 percent of Virginia voters say McDonnell shares the same level of honesty and integrity as most people in public life.

“The lofty levels of 2-1 job approval that Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell once enjoyed have slipped away with six months left in his term.  He’s under 50 percent for the second poll in a row, with just a 9-point net approval after substantial media coverage of his relationship with a campaign donor and associated problems,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

“Almost 80 percent of voters are aware of the controversy and seem to be somewhat concerned.  The bottom line seems to be that they view him as just another politician, but at this point they are not clamoring for his scalp.”

Only 16 percent of Virginia voters say McDonnell should resign, including 4 percent of Republicans, 29 percent of Democrats and 13 percent of independent voters.  The governor should not resign, 61 percent say, and 24 percent are undecided.

There is a similar partisan twinge to McDonnell’s job approval and voters’ view of his honesty.  Democrats disapprove 61-22 percent, while approval is 72-14 percent among Republicans and 48-35 percent among independent voters, compared to a 54-27 percent approval among independent voters in Quinnipiac University’s May 15 survey.

“Gov. McDonnell loses some ground among independent voters and gains some ground among Republicans.  But he drops from a minus 10 to a minus 39 percentage points among Democrats,” said Brown.

Among voters who say they voted for McDonnell in 2009, 84 percent say they would vote for him again, while 7 percent say no, with 8 percent undecided.

The governor is honest and trustworthy, 67 percent of Republican say, but only 43 percent of independent voters and 27 percent of Democrats say.

“The unknown question for Gov. McDonnell’s political standing is whether the bleeding has stopped,” said Brown.

Virginia voters approve 61-23 percent of the job U.S. Sen. Mark Warner is doing and approve 51-30 percent of first-term Sen. Tim Kaine.

Looking ahead to the 2016 presidential race, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leads New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie 45-40 percent and tops Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul 51-37 percent.  Christie would beat Vice President Joseph Biden 46 – 38 percent and Biden would beat Paul 47-40 percent.

From July 11-15, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,030 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points.  Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, Iowa and the nation as a public service and for research.



Have a guest column, letter to the editor, story idea or a news tip? Email editor Chris Graham at [email protected]. Subscribe to AFP podcasts on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPandora and YouTube.