Poll: Bob McDonnell job approval down slightly

bob-mcdonnell-linksVirginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has a 49-28 percent job approval rating, down slightly from his 53-26 percent score March 27 and his lowest score in two years, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Voters say 44-12 percent, however, that questions about Gov. McDonnell’s ties to a campaign donor are “just politics” rather than a “major issue.”

McDonnell’s job approval is the lowest since the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University began polling Virginia voters on state matters two years ago, and it is the first time he has been below 50 percent in his job approval.  The governor, however, still has positive job approval and favorability ratings.

“The relationship between Gov. Bob McDonnell and businessman Jonnie Williams Sr. has been a major story in the news media, but seems so far to have little impact on voters’ views of the governor, which remain relatively positive,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.  “That could change depending on developments, but at this point many more voters see the matter as ‘just politics’ than as a major issue.  The governor retains a favorable view in the eyes of Virginia voters.”

McDonnell’s job approval is 67 – 14 percent among Republicans and 54 – 27 percent among independent voters, while Democrats disapprove 41 – 31 percent. That reflects small movement downward among his fellow Republicans and among independent voters.  On March 27 his approval rating was 73 – 14 among Republicans and 56 – 22   percent among independents, with Democratic disapproval at 42 – 33 percent.

For a downloadable video of Quinnipiac University Assistant Polling Director Tim Malloy discussing today’s survey on Gov. McDonnell, click here.

Among Republicans, 46 percent see the focus on the McDonnell-Williams relationship as just politics, while 7 percent see it as a major issue.  Independent voters agree 51 – 12 percent, as do Democrats 35 – 16 percent.

While 57 percent of Virginia voters have read or heard about the McDonnell-Williams relationship, most still don’t know much about it.

Among all Virginia voters, 12 percent think McDonnell engaged in serious wrongdoing while 6 percent said it was not serious and 16 percent say he has not engaged in wrongdoing at all.  The remaining 63 percent do not know enough about the issue to make a judgment.

Voters’ overall opinion of McDonnell is little changed.  Currently it is 40 – 23 percent favorable, compared to 42 – 22 percent in March.

President Barack Obama’s job approval rating has inched up a bit in the Old Dominion to a split 49 – 47 percent, compared to a negative 45 – 49 percent in March.

The most popular politician in Virginia remains U.S. Sen. Mark Warner who has a        59 – 22 percent approval rating,  while U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, has a 46 – 33 percent score.  The State Legislature has a slightly negative 38 – 42 percent approval rating and Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling has a 37 – 17 percent positive rating.

From May 8 – 13, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,286 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.7 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 and the nation as a public service and for research.



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