Virginia voters are giving Gov. Bob McDonnell a big thumbs up as he enters his final year in office, according to a new poll.
Voters gave Gov. McDonnell a 53 - 26 percent job approval rating in a Quinnipiac poll released Thursday. The pollsters say it was one of the highest scores in any of the seven states they surveyed.
His base of support appears to be very broad, based on the poll results. Women approve of Gov. McDonnell 48 – 26 percent, while men approve 59 – 27 percent. White voters approve 58 – 25 percent while black voters approve 41 – 32 percent. Voters 18 to 34 years old approve 48 – 24 percent.
Even Democrats were fairly split on the governor's performance, disapproving by a narrow 43 – 34 percent.
"As Gov. Bob McDonnell enters his final year in office, he remains one of the nation's more popular chief state executives," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "He is the only Republican office-holder in the seven states surveyed by Quinnipiac University who get positive ratings from women, almost 2-1 in this case, and a plus score from black voters. A 2-1 approval rating among young voters doesn't hurt."
Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,469 registered voters From November 8 – 12, with a margin of error of +/- 2.6 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.
The survey also polled voters on several other issues. It found they were divided on lifting the ban on uranium mining in the state. Forty-two percent support mining because of economic benefits, while 40 percent oppose mining because of environmental concerns.
However, year-round schooling was not popular. Voters were against requiring year-round schooling in public schools idea by a 51 – 43 percent margin.
The poll also found that voters felt it should be easier to fire public school teachers by a 49 – 42 percent margin.
Transportation issue remain at the top of voters' priorities, with 92 percent polled saying it is "very important" or "somewhat important" to improve roads and highways. However, respondents oppose 57 – 38 percent putting tolls on parts of Interstate 95 to pay for road repairs.
"There is broad public support for the idea of state action to improve the state's roads and highways, but not on how such projects should be funded," said Brown.
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