Bob McDonnell's approval rating hits 61 percent

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McDonnell's popularity hit a new high with 61 percent approving of his performance while 21 percent disapproved and 18 percent were undecided. That's up from a 55 percent approval mark in Quinnipiac's June survey, and it came after McDonnell managed back-to-back natural disasters in Virginia — an Aug. 23 earthquake centered in Mineral that rattled much of the East Coast, and Hurricane Irene four days later.

(Photo: Associated Press)

When asked specifically about the conservative governor's policies, 52 percent approved and 26 percent disapproved while 22 percent didn't know or wouldn't say. Fifty-three percent said they approve of McDonnell's handling of the state budget, 29 percent disapproved, and 18 percent didn't know.

Democratic Sen. Mark R. Warner's job approval was even higher — 64 percent, up from 57 percent in June. Twenty-two percent disapproved of Warner's work and 18 percent were undecided or didn't reply.

Fifty-one percent approved of Sen. Jim Webb's performance. Webb, a Democrat, won't seek a second term next year.

Neither Lt. Gov Bill Bolling nor Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli mustered a majority for job approval. Thirty-nine percent approved of Bolling to 15 percent who disapproved and 45 percent who didn't know. For Cuccinelli, 47 percent approved, 29 percent disapproved and 24 percent didn't know. Bolling's numbers were unchanged from the June survey while Cuccinelli's declined from 49 percent.

Only 48 percent approved of the legislature's performance while 34 percent disapproved and 18 percent didn't know or didn't answer. The House is under Republican control while Democrats hold a slim Senate majority, and the poll suggests plenty of Virginians like it that way.

After pollsters explained the General Assembly's partisan split, respondents were asked if they want Democrats or the Republicans to control both chambers after November's legislative elections. Twenty-five percent wanted an all-Democratic legislature, 25 percent wanted an all-Republican one, and 43 percent said they like a divided legislature.

Sixty-eight percent said they were satisfied with the way things are going in Virginia today while 31 percent were dissatisfied and 1 percent didn't know. Those results are unchanged from June's poll.

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