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UPDATED--VCU: New poll shows mixed results for McDonnell, Cuccinelli

Rosalind Helderman

Virginia Commonwealth University's Center for Public Policy is out with the first independent poll about Virginian's opinions of Gov. Bob McDonnell and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli since the two took office in January, and the polling team says the results are mixed.

VCU's Commonwealth poll shows that 48 percent of those polled said McDonnell is doing an "excellent or good" job as governor while 52 percent rate his performance to be "fair or poor." Cuccinelli received similar numbers--47 percent rated him "excellent or good" while 53 percent said he's doing a "fair or poor" job.

It's worth noting that 40 percent of those polled said McDonnell is doing a "fair" job--only 12 percent say his performance is "poor." Meanwhile, 34 percent of those polled say Cuccinelli is doing a "fair" job while 19 percent say his performance is "poor."

Interestingly, VCU found that, for all the focus these days on the "Tea Party" movement, 6 in 10 Virginians don't know enough about it to offer an opinion. Of those who have, more say they have an unfavorable opinion (21 percent) than have a favorable opinion (19 percent).

Despite Virginia's recent announcement that it ended the year with a budget surplus, only 37 percent of those surveyed said they believe financial management of state government has been excellent, very good or good. Fifty-four percent said they believe it's been fair or poor (34 percent said fair; 20 percent said poor).

A bright spot in the poll for McDonnell--47 percent of Virginians think the state is on the right track, up from 41 percent in October of 2009 and 40 percent in October 2008. Thirty-seven percent of those surveyed said they think the state is on the wrong track.

A less bright spot--McDonnell's approval numbers are lower on this poll than those of Mark Warner and George Allen on the same poll throughout their terms in office. He lands ahead of Gov. Tim Kaine in October 2009 and ranks equal with him in October 2008. Kaine came out ahead earlier in his term.

McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin characterized the poll as good news for the governor. In a statement, he said, "According to this poll, 88% of Virginians have an excellent to fair opinion of the governor's performance in office. In addition, a growing number of Virginians believe the state is moving in the right direction."

"Those are very positive numbers. They reflect the governor's success in closing an historic budget shortfall without a tax increase, reducing state spending, creating new educational opportunities for Virginia students and helping spur job creation statewide," he said.

According to VCU, the poll was conducted July 15-19 and included 810 respondents.

UPDATE 7:19 p.m.: Cuccinelli political director Noah Wall weighs in as well: "According to the VCU poll, 81 percent of Virginians believe Ken's performance in office has been fair to excellent. With only 25 percent of those surveyed identifying themselves as Republicans, this shows that he has the approval of Virginians across party lines. This reflects the kind of response we have seen Ken get as he travels across the Commonwealth."

By Rosalind Helderman  |  July 22, 2010; 5:54 PM ET
Categories:  George F. Allen , Ken Cuccinelli , Mark Warner , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Next: McDonnell headlines fundraiser for Texas Gov. Perry in Virginia

Comments

This poll is a survey of "adults" which not only includes non-voters but also non-citizens and for that matter illegal aliens. It's meaningless.

Posted by: BobbyRomano | July 22, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Uh... since most polls include these groups, this one is as accurate as any other -- and polling done correctly can be quite accurate. It doesn't make sense to poll likely voters with this, since any election is 3 years away. How many illegal aliens get into any given poll is negligible. This objection is irrelevant.

Posted by: 303030 | July 22, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Get a life Helderman..

Posted by: wewintheylose | July 22, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

What these spokespeople are leaving out is that the category "fair" was a whopping 40% of the sampling for McDonnell, while Cuccinelli only received 9% in the excellent category. It seems to me that these spokespeople are championing mediocrity. There is no clear cut popularity here.

Posted by: Randy_Hawkins | July 22, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Mixed results... mixed nuts. They go together.

Say, what is it with UofRichmond law grads>

Got some judge in Gloucester who thing the right to petition needs to be paid for,

Cuccinelli, who thinks religion is the key to law,

And Katz in Newport News who thinks sidewalk solicitation ordinances don't violate the 1st..

Idiots with Law degrees.

Posted by: NancyNaive | July 22, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Mixed results... mixed nuts. They go together.

Say, what is it with UofRichmond law grads>

Got some judge in Gloucester who thing the right to petition needs to be paid for,

Cuccinelli, who thinks religion is the key to law,

And Katz in Newport News who thinks sidewalk solicitation ordinances don't violate the 1st..

Idiots with Law degrees.

Posted by: NancyNaive | July 22, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

So for all the lies and gnashing of teeth McDonnell is doing about as well as Kaine was early into his term, with a modest improvement on the state's finances, kudos.

Posted by: zcxnissan | July 23, 2010 4:46 AM | Report abuse

this poll is more a reflection on the intelligence and the ability to follow current events of Virginians then anything else.
It also helps the boycott Virginia movement if most Virginians are complicit with the Confederate Holidays, Anti-Science anti-global warming crusade, anti-equal rights efforts put forward by McDonnell and Cuccinelli.

Posted by: MarilynManson | July 23, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

I agree with MarilynManson. As I read the article, all I could think was that the people polled who feel positively about McDonnell and Cuccinelli, simply are not paying attention.

This is why we need more intelligent, independent, and objective voters (and politicians, too!).

Posted by: trambusto | July 23, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Trambusto and marilynmanson go crawl back under your bongs, it is the job of the AG to enforce laws on the books, and if you choose to believe data about global warming that was based on lies as per the leaked emails, then you have the right to that opinion i suppose, no matter how cuckoo it is. McDonnell has to clean up after the financial mess left by Obama cohort Kaine.

Posted by: zcxnissan | July 23, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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