May 15, 2013 - Virginia Gov's Job Approval Hits New Low, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Questions Of Impropriety Are 'just Politics,' Voters Say
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Virginia 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.

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. For more information, visit http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.

4. Is your opinion of Bob McDonnell favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Favorable            40%    63%    21%    44%    48%    34%    44%    25%
Unfavorable          23      8     35     25     21     24     25     19
Hvn't hrd enough     35     28     42     30     29     40     30     54
REFUSED               2      1      2      2      2      2      2      3
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Bob McDonnell favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     May 15  Mar 27  Feb 20  Jan 09  Nov 15  Jun 07
                     2013    2013    2013    2013    2012    2012
 
Favorable            40      42      41      45      42      39
Unfavorable          23      22      24      23      22      25
Hvn't hrd enough     35      33      33      30      34      35
REFUSED               2       4       3       2       2       2
 
 
9. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bob McDonnell is handling his job as Governor?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              49%    67%    31%    54%    53%    45%    50%    38%
Disapprove           28     14     41     27     26     30     29     28
DK/NA                23     18     28     19     21     24     21     34
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS..............
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-29  30-44  45-64  65+
 
Approve              55%    45%    46%    50%    57%    40%    48%    47%    59%
Disapprove           30     27     26     31     29     25     27     35     21
DK/NA                15     28     28     20     14     34     25     18     20
 
                                   East/  West/
                     North  SthEst Rchmnd Shndh
 
Approve              49%    48%    51%    44%
Disapprove           30     31     26     29
DK/NA                21     21     23     28
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bob McDonnell is handling his job as Governor?
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     May 15  Mar 27  Feb 20  Jan 09  Nov 15  Oct 12  May 15
                     2013    2013    2013    2013    2012    2011    2013
 
Approve              49      53      53      54      53      62      49
Disapprove           28      26      28      27      26      22      28
DK/NA                23      21      19      19      20      16      23
 
 
10. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              38%    55%    22%    41%    42%    34%    40%    23%
Disapprove           42     24     56     43     41     44     40     50
DK/NA                20     21     22     15     17     23     20     26
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS..............
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-29  30-44  45-64  65+
 
Approve              42%    35%    31%    40%    48%    44%    34%    35%    41%
Disapprove           43     42     46     43     39     33     44     51     33
DK/NA                15     23     23     17     13     24     22     14     26
 
                                   East/  West/
                     North  SthEst Rchmnd Shndh
 
Approve              41%    37%    40%    30%
Disapprove           40     45     39     49
DK/NA                19     19     20     21
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job? (*High also 48% Jun 2011, **Low also 38% Mar 2012, Feb 2013)
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     May 15  Mar 27  Feb 20  Jan 09  Nov 15  Sep 14  May 15
                     2013    2013    2013    2013    2012    2011*   2013**
 
Approve              38      40      38      43      44      48      38
Disapprove           42      40      46      39      35      34      42
DK/NA                20      20      16      19      21      18      20
 
 
11. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Mark Warner is handling his job as United States Senator?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              59%    42%    78%    56%    57%    61%    54%    73%
Disapprove           22     38     10     22     24     20     25     12
DK/NA                18     20     13     22     18     19     21     15
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS..............
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-29  30-44  45-64  65+
 
Approve              65%    56%    60%    58%    67%    62%    55%    61%    59%
Disapprove           21     23     22     23     20     15     23     24     26
DK/NA                14     21     18     19     14     23     23     15     15
 
                                   East/  West/
                     North  SthEst Rchmnd Shndh
 
Approve              66%    54%    60%    53%
Disapprove           16     25     23     26
DK/NA                18     21     17     20
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Mark Warner is handling his job as United States Senator? (*High also 64% Sep 2011)
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     May 15  Mar 27  Feb 21  Jan 09  Nov 14  Feb 09  Mar 27
                     2013    2013    2013    2013    2012    2012*   2013
 
Approve              59      56      58      59      60      64      56
Disapprove           22      26      28      27      25      22      26
DK/NA                18      18      14      13      16      14      18
 
 
12. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Tim Kaine is handling his job as United States Senator?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              46%    23%    67%    45%    43%    48%    41%    62%
Disapprove           33     55     12     34     38     29     38     17
DK/NA                21     22     20     21     20     23     21     22
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS..............
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-29  30-44  45-64  65+
 
Approve              56%    40%    43%    47%    56%    45%    49%    45%    43%
Disapprove           25     37     35     34     26     25     28     38     36
DK/NA                18     23     22     19     18     29     23     16     21
 
                                   East/  West/
                     North  SthEst Rchmnd Shndh
 
Approve              58%    47%    41%    37%
Disapprove           21     32     37     43
DK/NA                21     21     22     21
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Tim Kaine is handling his job as United States Senator?
                     May 15  Mar 27  Feb 21  Jan 09
                     2013    2013    2013    2013
 
Approve              46      47      50      48
Disapprove           33      33      33      30
DK/NA                21      20      17      22
 
 
13. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              49%    10%    87%    43%    43%    53%    38%    85%
Disapprove           47     87     10     52     52     42     58     11
DK/NA                 4      3      4      5      4      5      4      4
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS..............
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-29  30-44  45-64  65+
 
Approve              52%    47%    52%    48%    49%    57%    50%    49%    38%
Disapprove           44     48     44     47     48     37     44     49     56
DK/NA                 4      5      5      5      3      7      6      2      6
 
                                   East/  West/
                     North  SthEst Rchmnd Shndh
 
Approve              58%    51%    47%    37%
Disapprove           39     45     49     56
DK/NA                 4      4      4      7
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President? (*High also 52% Nov 2012)
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     May 15  Mar 28  Feb 21  Jan 10  Nov 14  Jan 10  Sep 15
                     2013    2013    2013    2013    2012    2013*   2011
 
Approve              49      45      51      52      52      52      40
Disapprove           47      49      46      44      44      44      54
DK/NA                 4       6       4       3       4       3       6
 
 
14. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bill Bolling is handling his job as Lieutenant Governor?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              37%    47%    31%    39%    42%    34%    37%    40%
Disapprove           17     15     21     13     17     17     15     19
DK/NA                46     38     48     48     41     50     48     41
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS..............
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-29  30-44  45-64  65+
 
Approve              39%    36%    41%    35%    41%    36%    36%    38%    41%
Disapprove           17     17     17     18     17     17     16     20     12
DK/NA                44     47     42     47     42     47     49     42     47
 
                                   East/  West/
                     North  SthEst Rchmnd Shndh
 
Approve              33%    33%    44%    33%
Disapprove           17     19     15     19
DK/NA                50     47     41     47
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bill Bolling is handling his job as Lieutenant Governor? (*Low also 35% Oct 2011)
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     May 15  Mar 27  Feb 20  Jan 09  Nov 14  Jan 09  Dec 22
                     2013    2013    2013    2013    2012    2013    2011*
 
Approve              37      37      36      40      38      40      35
Disapprove           17      15      18      16      15      16      18
DK/NA                46      48      45      44      47      44      46
 
 
16. In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in Virginia today; are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Very satisfied        8%    15%     4%     7%    10%     7%     9%     5%
Smwht satisfied      54     59     52     53     55     53     53     54
Smwht dissatisfied   26     16     29     31     24     27     27     22
Very dissatisfied    11      9     15      9     11     12     10     18
DK/NA                 1      1      -      -      1      1      1      1
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS..............
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-29  30-44  45-64  65+
 
Very satisfied       10%     8%     7%     8%    11%     5%     8%     8%    14%
Smwht satisfied      58     52     51     56     59     61     50     52     55
Smwht dissatisfied   24     27     28     26     24     24     27     29     22
Very dissatisfied     8     13     13     11      7     10     16     11      7
DK/NA                 -      1      1      -      -      -      -      -      2
 
                                   East/  West/
                     North  SthEst Rchmnd Shndh
 
Very satisfied       10%     5%    10%     5%
Smwht satisfied      60     54     52     49
Smwht dissatisfied   23     28     24     32
Very dissatisfied     6     13     12     13
DK/NA                 -      -      1      1
 
TREND: In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in Virginia today; are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied? (*High also 68% Jun 2011)
                                                             VERY+SMWHT SAT
                                                             High    Low
                     May 15  Mar 27  Feb 20  Jan 10  Nov 15  Sep 14  Feb 20
                     2013    2013    2013    2013    2012    2011*   2013
 
Very satisfied        8       7       8       8      10      13       8
Smwht satisfied      54      57      50      57      57      55      50
Smwht dissatisfied   26      25      29      24      22      24      29
Very dissatisfied    11      10      12      10      11       7      12
DK/NA                 1       2       1       1       1       1       1
 
 
23. How much have you heard or read about the relationship between Governor McDonnell and a campaign donor who paid for the food at a wedding for the governor's daughter; a lot, a little, or nothing at all?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
A lot                24%    23%    25%    26%    26%    22%    27%    19%
A little             33     36     29     35     35     31     34     28
Nothing at all       42     40     45     39     38     45     39     53
DK/NA                 1      1      1      -      -      1      1      1
 
 
24. Do you think Governor McDonnell was involved in any wrong-doing or not, or haven't you heard enough about this? IF YES: Do you think this is serious or not serious?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Yes/Serious          12%     4%    18%    14%    10%    14%    12%    15%
Yes/Not serious       6      5      5      9      6      6      7      2
No, not involved     16     27      7     16     22     12     20      6
Hvn't hrd enough     63     63     68     59     60     66     58     75
REFUSED               2      2      2      2      3      2      3      2
 
 
25. Which of these comes closest to your own view: this is a major issue or this is just politics, or haven't you heard enough about this?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Major issue          12%     7%    16%    12%     9%    15%    12%    15%
Just politics        44     46     35     51     47     41     47     30
Hvn't hrd enough     42     43     48     35     41     43     39     53
DK/NA                 2      3      1      2      3      1      3      1
 

Demographic Summary