Poll: McDonnell remains popular after divisive election

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Local,Virginia,Steve Contorno

Gov. Bob McDonnell remains one of the most popular governors in the country even after months as the Republican leader in a divisive swing state that ultimately voted for President Obama.

McDonnell is not only well-liked, blacks, women and young Virginians -- groups that swung heavily for Obama -- have a positive view of him as well.

In the first poll since the election, Quinnipiac University found 42 percent of Virginians have a favorable opinion of McDonnell, up from 39 percent in June, and significantly higher than the 22 percent who saw him unfavorably.

A resounding 53 percent of Virginians believe McDonnell is doing a good job as governor, while just 26 percent disapprove. That net 27-point positive approval rating is McDonnell's highest of Quinnipiac's five 2012 polls of him.

While 59 percent of men approve of McDonnell, 48 percent of women do as well to just 26 percent of women who think he's doing a bad job. McDonnell has a net positive job approval rating among black Virginians (+9) and 18 to 34-year-olds (+24), too.

Obama captured 93 percent of the black vote, 61 percent of 18 to 29-year-olds, and 54 percent of women in Virginia. But those voters apparently don't hold it against McDonnell, who was heavily invested in Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and campaigned hard for him.

Quinnipiac said McDonnell's numbers are among the highest of governors in the seven states they surveyed.

If there's a dark point for McDonnell in the results, it's that even after 3 years at the helm and his highly visible role as a Romney surrogate in Virginia, he's still unknown to a large chunk of residents.

One-third of those polled haven't heard enough of McDonnell to say if they like him and one-in-five said they don't know enough to say if he's doing a good job.

scontorno@washingtonexaminer.com

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