Poll: Virginia voters give thumbs-up to McDonnell

Posted at 1:51 PM, May 06, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-06 13:51:48-04

Virginia governor denies favoritism with top campaign donor

By Ashley Killough

(CNN) — Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell got some good news Monday after a new poll indicated the Republican governor’s approval ratings remained high among voters in the commonwealth.

The numbers were released a week after the Washington Post reported the FBI was probing ties between the Republican governor and a top campaign donor who paid for catering at McDonnell’s daughter’s wedding.

According to a new Washington Post survey, McDonnell has high marks among independents, Democrats and Republicans. The poll was conducted last Monday through Thursday, just as the story over his relationship with the donor was breaking.

Acknowledging there was much he wanted to say but couldn’t due to the ongoing investigation, McDonnell said last week in a radio interview there was “nothing going on at all at this time that impairs by ability to do a good job and serve the people of Virginia.”

Sixty-four percent of all registered voters say they approve of the job the governor is doing, including 52% of Democrats. The 64% rating is six points up from two Post surveys last year.

Meanwhile, 59% of Virginians say McDonnell, who was elected in 2009, has “high personal moral and ethical standards,” while 16% disagree and 25% are unsure.

McDonnell isn’t running for re-election–Virginia governors cannot serve consecutive terms–but the numbers could be a positive sign for the state’s GOP attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, who’s running for McDonnell’s spot this year.

The Washington Post released numbers over the weekend indicating Cucinelli had an early advantage over former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe. According to the survey, taken six months before Election Day, Cuccinelli is up 46%-41% over McAuliffe among all Virginia voters and 51%-41% among those who say they’re certain to vote in November.

But the poll also notes that only 10% say they’re following the campaign “very closely,” while nearly half say they’re undecided or could change their minds.

The Washington Post survey was conducted by telephone with 1,000 adults in Virginia, including 887 registered voters, from April 29 to May 2. The sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.

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