Home Virginia Politics Voters Cutting McDonnell Too Much Slack?

Voters Cutting McDonnell Too Much Slack?


The Washington Post reports its new poll finding that 52% of voters think the state is moving in the  right direction. (!?!?!?) 62% approve of the way Bob McDonnell is handling the governor’s job, while only 26% think otherwise, says the Post. Huh?

This may explain the findings:

More than half of Virginians – 54 percent – say they have just enough money to maintain their standard of living. Nineteen percent say they are getting ahead financially, and 27 percent say they are falling behind. In 2007, 33 percent said they were getting ahead financially, while 16 percent said they were falling behind.

Ordinarily, you would not think that having just enough to hold on would serve as a benchmark.  But in our ill-fated economy, courtesy of the disastrous Bush reverse stewardship, that’s what we get.  

As Obama has to contend with obstructive, extortionist tactics waged by House Republicans, Virginia legislators are far more accommodating to McDonnell.  I would like to think that voters voted (and responded to polls) not just for their self-interest, but also for those things making us a better state and country. But maybe not.

Our sense of economic well-being filters much of our reaction to political issues and news. The bad news is that this doesn’t help Dems running for top state offices or for national races.  It does suggest that Bob McDonnell has fooled Virginians concerning how extreme he really is.  His FOP (friend of Pat Robertson) extremeness is well known, but easily forgotten, apparently.  So too was his rush to show his approval of Gov. Scott Walker’s (R-WI) draconian  destruction of jobs, paychecks and the ability to negotiate a contract in Wisconsin. “Right to work” in Virginia, as in other labor-hostile states, means freedom to accept joblessness or low wages.  

WAPO claims that McDonnell has brought a whopping 1,677 jobs to Virginia.  Assuming he has really done “that well,” talk about underwhelming! In fact, McDonnell earns little credit for job creation.  Yet, the WAPO pep club band plays on. But because Virginia’s voters are doing relatively well, no thanks whatsoever to McDonnell, but more likely to federal jobs, the public gives him a pass. If the GOP has its way and drowns the federal government in the proverbial bathtub, what then for Virginians? With a broadside attack on state and federal workers, we will surely lose more jobs than McDonnell or any Republican governor ever creates.

It all shows, there is no one better at spin than today’s GOP.  With gullible, easily manipulated voters, and myth creation unabated, we have our work cut out for us.  Read more about the poll at WAPO.

  • sspiker

    “Even among Democrats, more approve than disapprove of the job he’s doing, 50 percent to 36 percent.”

  • FreeDem

    Yes the problem with our Commonwealth are the gullible, easy manipulated voters! That’s the pathway to success for the Democratic Party!

    Seriously, I feel your frustration. But let’s remember that not everyone reads blogs, not everyone is following this stuff closely.

    I recently spoke with my parents, two politically active voters but older and more dependent on the traditional media. My mother is a dyed in the wool liberal but my father is more conservative. In my father’s eyes McDonnell really hasn’t done anything to shake things up. In some ways even if he’s quick to praise Scott Walker, the fact that McDonnell hasn’t done anything to spark protests in Richmond can be seen by many that he’s a more moderate Republican.

    I can’t think of anything high profile that McDonnell has done in his time in office that has really alienated voters. If anything his push for ABC privatization to play for transportation may have helped him. Even if it is a complex issue, I think the average suburban voter sees his willingness to consider everything to solve the transportation crisis a good thing. And his failure to see it through to the end can be blamed on country hicks and rednecks, not the Governor.

    Health care reform in 2009 became unpopular because the right got out its activists to town halls and other events. This drama drew media attention. This media attention told voters that there was something big going on. The bill was complex but if someone else was so fired up about it the average voter could at least suspect there was reason for them to dislike it to. Controversy generates opposition.

    In the same way when Republicans and Democrats come together to pass something, be it the extension of the Bush tax cuts in 2010 or the War in Iraq, the average voter figures it must be a good thing. Only the perspective of time allows them to see the truth behind the curtain.

  • kindler

    …where all the politicians are above average.  (Well, okay, all except Cooch and Can’tor!)

    Seriously, though, don’t underestimate the appeal of likable mediocrity. It’s been at the heart of the Bush family brand for decades.  And if Pawlenty ends up as the winner by default at the end of the primaries, its power will be proven once again.