Friday, July 29, 2011

Virginia Miscellaneous

-Bob McDonnell continues to be one of the more popular Governors in the country but that doesn't mean the Republican nominee putting him on the ticket next year would be a big game changer in the state.

50% of voters approve of the job McDonnell's doing to 31% who disapprove. That ties him for the 8th most popular out of 41 sitting Governors PPP has conducted polls about. He's pretty universally liked by the Republican base (83/8), is very solid with independents (49/29) and has a decent if not remarkable amount of crossover support from Democrats (18/56).

But when asked what impact McDonnell being the Republican Vice Presidential candidate next year would have on their vote, a plurality of voters at 44% say it wouldn't make a difference to them either way. And among those who say it would more- 31%- say it would make them less likely to vote Republican for President than say- 24%- that it would make them more inclined to vote for the GOP.

We found a similar result when we asked this question about Marco Rubio in Florida last month. 35% there said Rubio on the ticket would make them less likely to support the Republican nominee to only 31% who said it would be a positive. Rubio and McDonnell are both popular but it doesn't appear giving them the VP nod would be a difference maker in either of their critical swing states.

-Eric Cantor is not a popular figure with voters in his home state. 39% have no opinion about him and those who do view him more negatively than not- 29% have a favorable view to 31% with a negative one. Democrats like and Republicans dislike Cantor in similar numbers. What tips the balance against him is a 23/31 spread with independents. These numbers don't bode particularly well for a future statewide run in Virginia so continuing to climb the ladder of House leadership appears to be his better political future.

-Mark Warner continues to be one of the most popular Senators in the country. His 54/28 approval spread ties him for 12th out of 83 we've polled on. He's at 55/23 with independents and stands at 29% with Republicans. Jim Webb can't match Warner's popularity but he's above average as well at 45/36.

-Virginians are opposed to gay marriage but do support some form of legal recognition for same sex couples. 52% of voters think it should be illegal to 35% who support allowing it. But when you throw civil unions into the mix 65% of voters express favor for giving gay couples more rights to only 33% who oppose any recognition at all. A lot of voters appear to be more concerned about the semantics of 'marriage' than actually denying same sex couples the rights associated with it.

-Voters are leaning toward the GOP in this fall's legislative elections, but only by a 45/42 margin. They have the slight advantage because slightly more Republicans- 94%- commit to supporting their party's candidates than Democrats- 91%- commit to supporting theirs. Independents split evenly at 34%, a welcome change for Democrats after getting flattened with that group of voters in the 2009 election in the state.

-Virginia's favorite major league baseball team is the Braves (19%) with the Yankees taking second place honors at 14%. The Nationals, as close to a home state team as there is, can only muster a third place tie with the Red Sox at 11%. The Nationals do at least triumph in the 703 where 26% of voters say they're their favorite team. The Orioles come in 5th at 10% and the Phillies (4%) and Mets and Cubs (3%) have limited popularity.

-Finally Virginia voters prefer the Hokes over the Cavaliers, although the largest share of voters doesn't care at all. 46% have no opinion but among those who do 32% prefer Virginia Tech to 21% who go for Virginia. We also asked partisans of each school for approval ratings on their football and basketball coaches. Frank Beamer unsurprisingly gets the best marks with 70% of Hokie fans happy with the job he's doing to only 5%.

The other 3 coaches all get similar numbers- Seth Greenberg's at 39/5, Mike London's at 39/7, and Tony Bennett's at 34/4. The interpretation on all three of those guys is that the jury's out- very few fans are unhappy with them but most aren't ready to express support for them either. A lot of folks are taking a wait and see approach.

Full results here


Anonymous said...

Do you have a running tally or chart of senators by popularity? It'd be especially interesting to compare it to on in 2010 or 2008.

Kevin said...

Gay marriage numbers are pretty bad in Virginia...

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