The new Quinnipiac poll finds that not only does Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell continue to enjoy a 2:1 approval rating, but he also draws support among groups with whom Republicans often have trouble: + 19 among women, +16 among young voters, + 12 among African-Americans.
Yet this popular governor in a newly purple state has suddenly become a reviled target of national conservatives (otherwise known as the gamut of opinion from A to B).
From an editorial in the Wall Street Journal last month:
There's one thing uglier than a Democratic tax-and-spend spree. A Republican one. On Friday Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and a GOP-run legislature approved a five-year, $6 billion transportation bill financed almost entirely with higher sales and car taxes. The big winners are unions, real estate developers and the transit lobby. …
This fiasco will haunt Republicans in a state that holds elections in November. Probable Democratic nominee for Governor Terry McAuliffe endorsed the bill knowing it erases any GOP advantage on taxes and spending. Mr. Cuccinelli, the likely Republican nominee, opposed the bill but must now find a way to rally a splintered GOP and demoralized conservatives. At least Republicans can erase Mr. McDonnell's name as a national candidate or VP choice in 2016.
You'd never know from reading the Journal that Bob McDonnell's approval rating stand eight points higher than Ken Cuccinelli's - or that, if allowed to run again for governor, McDonnell would easily win a race that now looks too close-to-call.