Gov. Bob McDonnell’s popularity didn’t suffer for his association with a losing presidential candidate, according to a statewide poll released today.
McDonnell has a 53 percent job approval rating in a poll of Virginia voters conducted by Quinnipiac University. Women voters approve of McDonnell by a margin of 48 percent to 26 percent.
McDonnell’s approval rating remains positive after he served as a high-profile surrogate for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who lost Virginia and the national election to President Barack Obama.
“As Gov. Bob McDonnell enters his final year in office, he remains one of the nation’s more popular chief state executives,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “He is the only Republican office-holder in the seven states surveyed by Quinnipiac University who get positive ratings from women, almost 2-1 in this case, and a plus score from black voters. A 2-1 approval rating among young voters doesn’t hurt.”
“Are national GOP leaders paying attention here?” Brown said.
The results come from telephone interviews with 1,469 registered voters conducted between Nov. 8 and Monday. The survey has a margin of error of 2.6 percentage points.
The survey also tested voters’ opinions on issues that are likely to come up in the 2013 General Assembly, including uranium mining. State lawmakers will decide early next year whether to lift the state’s 30-year-old moratorium on uranium mining and milling, a first step toward allowing a uranium mining proposal in Pittsylvania County to go forward.
The poll indicates that voters remain divided on the issue, with 42 percent saying that mining should be permitted and 40 percent saying that it should be banned . In the western part of the state, 46 percent said mining should occur and 38 percent said it should not.
On transportation funding, a majority of voters said they prefer highway tolls to higher gas taxes to generate funds for road improvements. But 57 percent also said that a proposal to put tolls on Interstate 95 is a bad idea.
Bu a margin of 51 percent to 43 percent, voters said that having year-round public schools is a bad idea.
The complete poll results are available here.
– Michael Sluss