Things are going well for Virgina’s Gov. Bob McDonnell. Nearly two years after his victory over Democrat Creigh Deeds, the Republican has an eye-popping 69.6 percent approval rating according to a new Christopher Newport University/Richmond Times-Dispatch poll.
Virginians are a largely content bunch when it comes to the direction of the state but hold a more dismal view of the course of the federal government — now and looking ahead.
Nearly 46 percent say Virginia is headed in the right direction, 30.8 percent in the wrong direction and 17.6
percent are mixed, according to a Christopher Newport University/Richmond Times-Dispatch poll.
When it comes to the national picture, just 14.6 percent see things headed in the right direction, while 71.3 percent say it’s going in the wrong direction and 12.8 percent are mixed.
Looking ahead, things don’t get much brighter. Seventy-eight percent of those polled said they think the nation six months from now will be in the same shape or worse.
The satisfaction with state affairs extends to some of Virginia’s elected leaders — 69.6 percent approve of Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell’s job performance and 65.6 percent approve of the way Sen. Mark R.
Warner, D-VA is handling his job, according to the poll taken Oct. 3-8.
Virginians have good reason to be happy: the state has weathered the economic recession better than other areas of the country, largely due to its proximity to Washington DC. Gov. McDonnell has been an effective manager of his state’s fiscal affairs, with the state enjoying 2 consecutive budget surpluses-without raising taxes. Gov. McDonnell has also overseen the passage of tough new laws regulating abortion clinics, enduring a bruising battle over redistricting in the state’s divided legislature, and gone through several budget battles, yet has maintained and increased his popularity.
This is in marked contrast to North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue, whose poll numbers have languished in the high 30s and low 40s since election (currently at 42% according to the latest Civitas poll). North Carolina voters are similarly pessimistic about the state’s direction-with 62% thinking their state has gotten off on the wrong track, compared to only 38% of Virginians.