According to a new poll by Public Policy Polling, Barack Obama is doing very well in Virginia, thank you! 🙂
Beyond the fact that he’s holding up well with white voters there’s another reason Obama’s polling so well in Virginia- voters there are extremely unimpressed with the Republican candidate field. Mike Huckabee is the most ‘popular’ of the candidates with a 37/41 favorability rating. After him is Mitt Romney at 35/43, Newt Gingrich at 26/54, Sarah Palin at 31/62, and Donald Trump at 22/69.
Even if Obama was unpopular in Virginia he’d still be in a decent position to win the state again because the GOP contenders are so weak there. Take those unpopular Republicans and combine them with a decently popular Obama and you have a very difficult battle for the GOP to get Virginia back. And it’s hard to imagine the party winning back the White House without Virginia- because of that fact and because of Obama’s relative strength there, this is looking to me like the most important state in the Presidential race next year.
According to PPP, Bob McDonnell’s also popular in Virginia, at 50%-35%. Even so, Obama leads McDonnell in a hypothetical matchup for president, 51%-43%. The reason? Virginians overwhelmingly (59%-20%) don’t want McDonnell to run for president in 2012. Also,I’ve just gotta say, for McDonnell to have a 50%-35% approval rating in Virginia, despite what Terry McAuliffe accurately describes as moving us “backwards” not “forwards,” means that someone (hint: initials BM) isn’t doing his job in laying out a narrative. Uh guys? Any time now!
UPDATE: Also see the Washington Post poll’s latest results, including on whether gay marriage should be legal (47%-43% say “I do!”); whether gays should be able to adopt a child (Virginians disagree with McDonnell, Cooch et al by a 55%-35% margin); and whether abortion should be legal (Virginians believe it should be, by a 53%-40% margin, once again differing with McDonnell and Cooch). Despite all the disagreement with McDonnell on social issues, Virginians approve of McDonnell as governor (by a 62%-26%), ironically because the massive influx of federal money – defense, “stimulus,” etc. – has boosted the Commonwealth’s economy. I say “ironically” because Bob McDonnell leads a party that opposed the “stimulus,” and which generally professes to dislike federal spending. Except, apparently, when it’s spent in Virginia. 🙂