PPP: Mark Warner By Far the Most Popular Virginia Politician

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    Public Policy Polling has approval/disapproval ratings for major Virginia political figures, and the results are generally expected – with one surprise, at least to me. Here they are, in descending order of popularity (approval/disapproval for ones holding office; favorable/unfavorable for those not currently in office).

    1. Mark Warner: 58%-29% (+29 points)

    2. Jim Webb: 48%-35% (+13 points)

    3. Bob McDonnell: 46%-34% (+12 points)

    4. Tim Kaine: 46%-38% (+8 points)

    5. Bill Bolling: 33%-26% (+7 points)

    6. Doug Wilder: 38%-34% (+4 points)

    7. Barack Obama: 48%-45% (+3 points)

    8. George Allen: 39%-40% (-1 point)

    9. Tom Perriello: 20%-22% (-2 points)

    10. Ken Cuccinelli: 37%-40% (-3 points)

    11. Jamie Radtke: 4%-14% (-10 points)

    12. Rick Boucher: 14%-26% (-12 points)

    13. Bob Marshall: 8%-20% (-12 points)

    14. Terry McAuliffe: 17%-30% (-13 points)

    Of course, these are not totally comparable because name ID is far greater for some than for others. Still, I think these ratings give you a pretty good idea as to general tendencies. The one that really surprised me? Terry McAuliffe is in last place, behind crazy “Sideshow Bob” and Ken Kookinelli?!? What’s THAT all about? I asked a Virginia Democratic political insider what he/she thought of that, and he/she said, “[Terry McAuliffe is] not a Virginia personality.” Agree? Disagree? Personally, I’m not even sure what that means, given the wild diversity in personality types of major Virginia political figures (Cuccinelli’s a “Virginia personality?” How so?). Also, I’m surprised how low Rick Boucher is, and that Cooch isn’t far lower than he is.

    P.S. Also, see here for Virginia ratings of possible 2012 Republican candidate for president, like Sarah Palin (-33 points), Newt Gingrich (-27 points), Mitt Romney (-15 points), and Mike Huckabee (-1 point). Not looking good for the Republicans in 2012, what a shame.

    • Glen Tomkins

      Most D candidates, however predictably unpopular with the Rs, have the saving grace of racking up lopsided favorables with the D voters.  If you have the partisan breakdown available, I suspect it would show that McAuliffe doesn’t get much of that boost from the D side of the voter pool.  A sizable percentage of the Ds who recognize the name think of him as some malefactor of great wealth.

      If that is the reason for his poor showing, that would mean it is of less signifigance than the numbers indicate.  Malefactor or not, the kind of D who would object to him, would object to him far less than any R malefactor of great wealth.  Malefaction is a feature to them, not a bug, as it is to our side’s plutocrats.

      A the end of the day, we’ll vote for McAuliffe if he’s the nominee.  Those of us crazy enough to canvass for Ds will prove crazy enough to canvass just as hard for him as for Perriello, as for anyone who gets the D behind his or her name.

      McAuliffe should worry about these numbers only if it’s independents who drive his numbers down.

    • notlarrysabato

      Says Cooch pounds T-Mac for Gov unless T-Mac totally changes the way he is conducting himself.  Hanging out with the DPVA insiders will not get him elected.

    • aznew

      than Cooch v. McAuliffe in 2013 for governor would be Cooch v. Perriello.

      That election would also be much more interesting than Perriello v. Allen for the Senate in 2012.

      Say what you will about Cuccinelli, he likes to discuss the substance of issues. Yes, his positions on many issues are clearly in extremist territory, but to his credit  he holds those positions proudly, and is happy, even eager to discuss them.

      Similarly, having watched Perriello for almost four years now, I think he is at his best when discussing the substance of issues. A Perriello matchup against Cooch in 2013 would provide an opportunity for an election to really be about substantive competing visions of governance.

      Given that many GOP victories so often seem dependent on negative campaigning, factual distortions and dog-whistle campaigning, Progressives should welcome that argument, fairly waged.

      You may ask, wouldn’t Perriello provide the same thing in the 2012 Senate race.

      Perhaps he would, but it is less clear to me whether the 2012 Senate campaign will be fought on that turf.

      With Allen in the race, and given the Presidential election, the 2012 Senate campaign will not be about Virginia issues. On a local level, it  will be about Allen and Macaca, and on a broader level about Obama and, it now appears, about just what Republican governance looks like, generally-speaking (union-busting, less individual freedom, tax cuts for the rich, cutting services to the most vulnerable people in our society). Wrapped up in that, at least for some Conservatives and TPers, will be issues of Federalism.

      But given these issues, it hardly matters who the Democratic candidate is, as long as he/she doesn’t have significant negatives. Indeed, this is arguably one way to interpret recent polling, showing Allen at 47% regardless of whether his opponent is Kaine, Perriello or Boucher.

      What an 2013 match-up between Cooch and Perriello could offer the Commonwealth, however, is a debate that focuses not on boring legal issues of Federalism, but fundamental and meaningful issues concerning the relationship between government, generally (whether federal, state or local), and the people — the government, as Lincoln put it, “of the people, by the people and for the people.”

      What do we want our government to regulate (air, food, prices, etc.)? How much control do we want government to have over our private lives (choice, marriage, school curriculum)?  Do we want to use the police powers of the state to enforce a particular orthodoxy on scientific inquiry, such as climate change?  

    • listlady

      Where is he especially strong or not? And what are the differences in support between Warner and Webb? Finally, what’s the liberal-moderate-conservative-whacko breakdown in the overall electorate? (And what might all that suggest about what sells well statewide, whether we personally like it or not?)

    • Venu

      having a better net than many of the potential state-wides that have been talked about? At 38/34, he’s not looking too bad, compared to McAuliffe’a 17/30 at any rate,.