Poll: McDonnell’s job approval rating dips to new low

Posted at 12:13 PM, Jul 17, 2013

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- Governor Bob McDonnell's job approval rating has slipped to a new low, according to the latest Quinnipiac Poll released Wednesday morning.  And it's not only a new low, but it is the second Quinnipiac survey in a row that shows the governor with a less than 50 percent rating.

McDonnell had a 53 percent approval rating in March. However, that number slipped to 49 percent in May and has dipped to 46 percent this month.

Partially to blame are several scandals the governor is facing.  Specifically, the majority of voters 41 to 30 percent polled said they are not satisfied with the way McDonnell is handling the controversy over his financial dealings with a local businessman.

Federal and state investigators are looking into McDonnell's connections with Jonnie Williams, the chief executive of Star Scientific Inc., and questions surrounding thousands of dollars in personal gifts from Williams. [RELATED: Quinnipiac Poll shows governor’s approval rating hits new low]

CBS 6 Political Analyst Dr. Bob Holsworth said what tends to be most surprising is the magnitude of those gifts.

"It went from a gift of a watch; it went beyond that to a shopping spree for the first lady; it went beyond that even to when the Governor's real estate investors were digging the family in a big personal financial hole," Dr. Holsworth said.  "Jonnie Williams came in and gave a $70,000 loan and the governor doesn't even have to begin to repay until 2015.  Most individuals in Virginia would like to be able to have access to that type of loan."

The Quinnipiac survey also found women voters have turned on McDonnell with 42 percent disapproving of the way he's handling his job. That's compared to 40 percent who think otherwise.

Dr. Holsworth added, if there is any good news for McDonnell, it is that the majority of those polled still approve of the job the governor is doing. Additionally, only a small number of Virginians have asked for the governor to resign.