Pollapalooza: McDonnell Approval Rating Down, McAuliffe Ahead Of Cuccinelli | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Pollapalooza: McDonnell Approval Rating Down, McAuliffe Ahead Of Cuccinelli

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McDonnell's approval rating is lower than it has ever been.
(AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
McDonnell's approval rating is lower than it has ever been.

The drip-drop of negative news in Virginia seems to have affected how the commonwealth's voters view Gov. Bob McDonnell.

A new poll from Quinnipiac University finds that McDonnell's approval rating stands at 46 percent, down from 49 percent in mid-May and 53 percent at the end of March. The percentage of Virginians that disapprove of McDonnell has climbed from 26 in March to 37 percent in July, the highest it has been since he took office.

Despite having soured with some voters, though, McDonnell is still seen as honest and trustworthy—44-36. Still, voters largely say that they have not been satisfied with how he has handled the controversies surrounding him, and more of them believe that he has been engaged in inappropriate behavior. McDonnell has been fending off questions related to unreported gifts from a campaign contributor.

Though three Democratic officials in Virginia have called on him to resign, but 61 percent of Virginia voters disagree.

"A lot of voters say, 'Well you know, if I were governor would I have taken these gifts. If I could, if I was allowed to, yeah, why not?' We don't want to hear that, but I think a lot of people probably do think that," says Geoff Skelley, an analyst at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

"This scandal has kind of hurt his legacy as governor because I think a lot of people will end up thinking of this rather than the transportation bill, which is what I think he wanted to remembered for," says Skelley.

The poll also found that Hillary Clinton would defeat both New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) for Virginia's electoral votes in the 2016 presidential election.

Another poll focuses in on the race to replace McDonnell. That poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling, gives Democratic contender Terry McAuliffe a slight lead over Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, 41-37. Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis took seven percent, while 15 percent of the electorate remains undecided.

The poll also found that Cuccinelli's unfavorable ratings stand at 47 percent, while McAuliffe's are at 36 percent.

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