Photo credit:

A statewide poll shows lower approval ratings for both Governor McDonnell and state lawmakers.  The Quinnipiac University Poll shows the governor still above 50%, but at 53%, it is the lowest since they starting Virginia polling last June. And as WFIR’s Evan Jones reports, the news for legislators appears even more negative.

[audio:|titles=03-21 Approval Poll Wrap1-WEB]

(Continue reading for full Quinnipiac Poll information.)

Click here for complete poll information.

Here is the full Quinnipiac Poll news release:





Virginia voters disapprove of two hotly debated measures, to make it harder to get an abortion and easier to buy a handgun, as job approval ratings for Gov. Bob McDonnell and the State Legislature both drop, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Voters approve 53 – 32 percent of the job Gov. McDonnell is doing, down from a 58 – 24 percent score February 9 and McDonnell’s lowest rating since the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University began Virginia surveys June 29, 2011.

The State Legislature’s negative 38 – 47 percent score is a 19-point shift from a 47 – 37 percent positive approval rating February 9 and the first time the legislature has received a negative grade.

Women approve of McDonnell 49 – 34 percent, down from 54 – 25 percent last month.  Men approve 58 – 31 percent, compared to 62 – 23 percent last month.

Virginia voters disagree 52 – 41 percent with a new law that requires women seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound examination at least 24 hours before the procedure.

Voters say 72 – 21 percent that government should not make laws which try to convince women seeking an abortion to change their minds.

Voters also prefer 53 – 40 percent Virginia’s old law which limited an individual’s handgun purchases to one per month, over the new law which has no limits.

“The governor’s numbers are down, from a net positive 34 percentage points last month to a net 21 points today, but he’s still above the 50-percent mark,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.  “The controversy over the ultrasound and handgun bills would be a logical explanation for the decline in his approval rating, which had been above 60 percent for much of last year.”

“Virginia had been the only state surveyed by Quinnipiac University in which the State Legislature had received a net positive job approval,” Brown added.  “The fact that the legislature’s approval dropped so much, while approval ratings for other statewide elected officials are basically unchanged indicates that voter dissatisfaction is targeted.”

McDonnell gets a 77 – 13 percent approval among Republicans compared to 83 – 7 percent last month.  His 53 – 33 percent approval rating among independent voters compares to 59 – 19 percent then.  Democrats disapprove 49 – 35 percent, little changed from 47 – 34 percent last month.

McDonnell gets 57 – 29 percent approval from white voters, down from 63 – 20 percent last month.  Black voters split 40 – 42 percent, compared to a 44 – 36 approval in February, still a strong showing for a Republican among African-Americans.

The state’s other statewide elected officials all retain their net positive ratings:

  • U.S. Sen. Mark Warner 62 – 23 percent;
  • U.S. Sen. Jim Webb 49 – 28 percent;
  • Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling 36 – 21 percent;
  • Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli 45 – 32 percent.

Women disapprove of the new ultrasound/abortion law 49 – 44 percent, while men disapprove 56 – 38 percent.  Republicans approve 61 – 31 percent, while disapproval is 67 – 27 percent among Democrats and 56 – 39 percent among independent voters.

“More men disapprove of the ultrasound law than women,” said Brown.

Viewing their fetus because of the ultrasound law will make many women change their mind about an abortion, 12 percent of voters say, while 45 percent expect some women will change their mind.  Another 31 percent say hardly any women will change their mind and 5 percent say no women will change their mind.

Women want the one-per-month limit of Virginia’s old gun law 58 – 33 percent while men are split 47 – 48 percent.

From March 13 – 18, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,034 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points.  Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.