Governor Bob McDonnell’s job approval rating hits new low

Posted at 7:12 AM, May 15, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-15 13:49:46-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- According to the latest Quinnipiac University poll, Governor Bob McDonnell's job approval rating has dropped to 49 percent. The rating is down from 53 percent in March and it's his lowest rating since Quinnipiac University started polling Virginia voters two years ago.

When voters were asked about McDonnell's ties to campaign donor and Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams Sr., 44 percent of voters said the issue is "just politics" while 12 percent said it is a "major issue."

However, 57 percent of voters polled say they have read or heard about the McDonnell-Williams relationship, but still don't know much about it.

Despite the new low, Governor McDonnell's approval rating among Republicans and Independent voters sits at 67 percent and 54 percent respectively. Democrats disapprove of his job performance 41 to 31 percent. Approval ratings among all three categories have declined only slightly since the last poll released in late March.

Voter's overall opinion of McDonnell hasn't changed much, 40 percent still have a favorable opinion of the governor. That's only down two percent from March.

Quinnipiac University's numbers are certainly different from a Washington Post poll released earlier in May. According to that poll, 64 percent of all registered voters approved of McDonnell's job.

The results came out a week after the Washington Post reported the FBI was investigating ties between McDonnell and Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams Sr. You can read the rest of that story here.

According to the Quinnipiac University Poll, President Barack Obama's approval rating has increased slightly in the Commonwealth, but voters remain divided. Voters approve of Obama's job 49 to 47  percent. The rating is up compared to March when only 45 percent of Virginia voters approved of his job.

U.S. Senator Mark Warner remains the most popular politician in Virginia. His approval rating sits at 59 percent. While his colleague, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine's approval rating sits at 46 to 33 percent.

Quinnipiac University surveyed a total of 1,286 voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percent.

Click here to read the poll for yourself.