RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The recent legislative was highly contentious and politically damaging to both the General Assembly and the governor, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.
Gov. Bob McDonnell's job approval rating dropped to 53%, down from 58% on February 9. The General Assembly scored just 38%, down from 47% last month. It was the first time the legislature had received a negative grade.
"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."
McDonnell saw his approval rating drop with women, while it increased among men. 52% of Virginia voters polled were opposed to the ultrasound bill and 72% said the government should not make laws which try to convince women seeking an abortion to change their minds. Additionally, 53% said they favored the recently overturned one gun a month law.
"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% of respondents say, while 45% expect some women will change their mind. Another 31% say hardly any women will change their mind and 5% say no women will change their mind.
58% of women were in favor of the one-per-month limit of Virginia's old gun law while men were nearly evenly split.
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.
For a link to the full poll results, click here.