Friday, March 4, 2011

Virginia Politician Report Card

-Jim Webb has received a post-retirement announcement bounce. 48% of voters now approve of the job he's doing to 35% who disapprove. On PPP's last Virginia poll in November his numbers broke down as a 43/37 spread. The biggest reason he's gone up is Republicans seem to like him a little bit more now that he's not running again- his approval with them is still only 15%, but that's almost twice the 8% he had with them in the previous survey. Webb is pretty universally popular with Democrats (75/13) and also benefits from very solid numbers with independents (50/33).

-We tested approvals for all five of Virginia's main statewide officials on this poll- both Senators, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General. The only one who came out under water is controversial Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who just 37% of voters approve of to 40% who disapprove. His biggest problem is a poor standing with independent voters. Our final poll in 2009 found him winning them by a 61-31 margin but now a plurality of them at 41% are unhappy with his work to only 37% who express happiness with it. His 61% disapproval with Democrats is also higher than Bob McDonnell's 57% or Bill Bolling's 43%.

-Bolling's approval numbers are solid with 33% of voters giving him good marks to 26% who disapprove. That might seem to give him a leg up on Cuccinelli for 2013 but consider this- the Attorney General's approval rating with Republicans is 62%, but Bolling's is only 58%. So even though Bolling is better liked by the state's voters as a whole and would probably make the stronger general election candidate, he'd likely start out at a deficit in a primary to the better known Cuccinelli.

-On the topic of the 2013 Governor's race either Terry McAuliffe is going to need to do some image rehabilitation or Democrats are going to have to look in another direction for a candidate. Most voters in the state- 52%- don't know enough about him to have formed an opinion but those who have are decidedly negative. Just 17% say they have a positive view of him to 30% who rate him negatively. Democrats only like him narrowly, by a 30/22 spread, and his level of disfavor with both Republicans (6/38) and independents (14/33) is higher than his amount of popularity within his own party.

-And getting back to the current Governor Bob McDonnell remains popular, if not overwhelmingly so. 46% of voters are happy with the job he's doing to 34% who disapprove. In November his numbers broke down at 44/36. Republicans love him (76/8), he has a little more crossover support from Democrats than your average GOP politician at 21% approval, and independents are positive toward him by a 46/34 spread matching his overall numbers. McDonnell is not in the top tier of popularity for Governors across the country, but he is above average.

-Continuing his perpetual reign as not only Virginia's most popular politician but one of the most popular politicians in the country is Mark Warner who has a 58% approval rating with just 29% of voters disapproving of him. We've polled on almost every Senator over the last year and only five exceed Warner's 58% approval- John Barrasso and Mike Enzi of Wyoming, Jack Reed of Rhode Island, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, and Mike Johanns of Nebraska. South Dakota's John Thune matches Warner's standing. Warner has an 86/5 standing with Democrats and the approval of an unusually high 26% of Republicans but the main reason for his stellar standing is a 59/30 breakdown with independents. Those voters don't tend to like anyone all that much so for Warner to have those kinds of numbers with them is quite impressive.

Full results here

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And Doug Wilder sports a higher rating than McAuliffe? :)

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