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Gov. McDonnell's Approval Rating Soars

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Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell is currently enjoying a 61 percent approval rating, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released this week.
Gage Skidmore (http://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/4379679497/)
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell is currently enjoying a 61 percent approval rating, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released this week.


Things couldn't be much better for Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R) when it comes to public opinion, according to a poll released this week by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. McDonnell has a 61 percent job approval rating, which is up from 55 percent three months ago.

Peter Brown, the institute's assistant director, says McDonnell's numbers are higher than those of most other governors across the country, but, he adds, things can change quickly.

"Polls are very good at telling you about public opinion today," he says. "They're not necessarily very good at telling you what public opinion will be a week, a month, a year down the road."

Steven Farnsworth, associate professor of communications at George Mason University, says Virginia governors nearly always have high job approval ratings, whether they're Democrats or Republicans.

"I guess what happens in Virginia is, because they can only serve one term in a row, they're never around long enough to make people as angry as presidents make people in their second terms," Farnsworth says.

He also points out having voters satisfied with a Republican administration in Richmond could be both a blessing and a curse for Republican candidates in the 2012 Presidential election, when the commonwealth is expected to be a swing state. Much of the momentum in the national Republican party comes from dissatisfaction with the economy and frustration with elected leaders, two things less prevalent in Virginia than in the rest of the country, at least right now.


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