Virginia Governor's Approval Rating Drops to New Low

Gov. Robert F. McDonnell’s approval rating has plummeted to a new low amid a gifts scandal that has bled into the race to succeed him and left Virginians hungry for ethics reform, according to a new Washington Post/Abt-SRBI poll.
September 25, 2013
 

Gov. Robert F. McDonnell’s approval rating has plummeted to a new low amid a gifts scandal that has bled into the race to succeed him and left Virginians hungry for ethics reform, according to a new Washington Post/Abt-SRBI poll.

Fewer than half of the state’s registered voters approve of the job the term-limited Republican is doing or say he has “high personal and moral ethical standards,” the survey found, even as the vast majority of voters say he should not resign over the gifts debacle.

Once one of the nation’s most popular governors, McDonnell had been a possible nominee for vice president last year and appeared to be positioning himself for a presidential bid in 2016. But his final year in office has been consumed by state and federal investigations in connection to luxury gifts and $145,000 that a Richmond-area businessman provided to the governor and his family.

Forty-nine percent of Virginia voters approve of the job McDonnell is doing, down from a term high of 64 percent in a Post poll in May. That represents a record low for McDonnell and a rare low generally for a state in which governors routinely win broad approval during their four-year terms. Forty-seven percent say he has high personal moral and ethical standards, down from 61 percent in May.

McDonnell’s biggest loss of support came from the moderate voters who had been stalwart supporters during his tenure, partly because the longtime social conservative stressed economic issues under the campaign slogan “Bob’s for Jobs!”

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