Poll: Virginians like Governor McDonnell, not I-95 tolls or year-round school

Posted at 7:41 AM, Nov 15, 2012
and last updated 2012-11-15 07:41:35-05

RICHMOND, Va (WTVR) - Virginia voters, including women and young people, continue to give Governor Bob McDonnell a high approval rating according to a new poll released this morning. McDonnell pulls a score of 53 to 26 percent, one of the highest among the seven states polled by Quinnipiac University.

“As Gov. Bob McDonnell enters his final year in office, he remains one of the nation’s more popular chief state executives,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. 

“He is the only Republican office-holder in the seven states surveyed by Quinnipiac University who get positive ratings from women, almost 2-1 in this case, and a plus score from black voters.  A 2-1 approval rating among young voters doesn’t hurt.”

“Are national GOP leaders paying attention here?”

While the bulk of Virginians polled said improving highways is either "very important" or "somewhat important," they remain opposed to McDonnell's proposal to institute tolling on portions of I-95 to pay for those repairs, at 57 to 38 percent. Given a choice between tolls or a high gas tax, however, Virginians would choose the toll, 56 to 32 percent.

Voters polled also disapprove of another of the Governor's proposals: privatizing Virginia's ports; opposing it 40 to 34 percent.

The survey also gauged how Virginians feel about transitioning to a year-round school system. Those surveyed seemed to oppose the idea, 51 to 43 percent. But the poll found those surveyed with college degrees support the idea, by a narrow 6 percent.

By a 49 – 42 percent margin, voters say it should be easier to fire public school teachers. 

Whether or not the state should lift its uranium mining ban remains a controversial topic in the commonwealth. The poll found Virginia voters remain divided on the topic, as 42 percent support mining because of economic benefits, while 40 percent oppose mining because of environmental concerns. 

Republicans support mining, 69 – 19 percent, while democrats remain opposed, 60 – 22 percent. 

Quinnipiac University polled 1,469 registered Virginia voters between Nov. 8 and 12, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.