Gov. Bob McDonnell’s approval rating has reached its lowest point in two years, dropping just below 50 percent, according to a new Quinnipiac poll. Forty-nine percent of respondents approved of his job in office, while 28 percent disapproved.
The results come as the governor receives increased scrutiny over his relationship with beleaguered businessman Jonnie Williams Sr, who paid the $15,000 catering bill at McDonnell daughter's wedding in 2011. But the poll showed that voters believe -- 44 to 12 percent -- that questions about Gov. McDonnell's ties to a campaign donor are "just politics" rather than a "major issue."
The poll also found that most Virginia voters don’t really know much about the scandal.
"The relationship between Gov. Bob McDonnell and businessman Jonnie Williams Sr. has been a major story in the news media, but seems so far to have little impact on voters' views of the governor, which remain relatively positive," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "That could change depending on developments, but at this point many more voters see the matter as 'just politics' than as a major issue. The governor retains a favorable view in the eyes of Virginia voters."
There’s good reason to take these results with a grain of salt. A recent NBC poll showed the governor’s approval rating on the up, with a 61 percent approval rating among registered voters.
IN OTHER NEWS:
* All but two of the schools slated for closure in D.C. are in census tracts that are more than 50 percent black and Hispanic. (Washington City Paper)
* A Maryland delegated sentenced to 30 days in jail for operating a boat while under the influence appealed his sentence to a higher court. (Associated Press)
* An interesting map showing the percentage of D.C. residents employed by the government and where they live. (DCist)
* Virginia state revenue increases 2.2 percent in April 2013 compared with April 2012, according to new data released by the McDonnell administration. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
* The trial for the former Virginia Executive Mansion accused of embezzlement is set for Oct. 15-18. (Virginian-Pilot)
* The Justice Department confirms that U.S. Attorney Ron Machen is running the Associated Press investigation. (Washington City Paper)
* Bill O’Reilly aired a segment on Maryland’s correctional corruption scandal and called the state’s correction boss a “moron.” (Baltimore City Paper)
* Mayor Vincent Gray and Councilwoman Muriel Bowser, a mayoral candidate herself, feud over the D.C. budget. (Washington Examiner)
* In a political-pop culture-meta moment, Gov. O’Malley stands in the oval office…on the set of “House of Cards. “ (Baltimore Sun)
* A heated debate erupted among attendees of the first public meeting to get District residents’ input on changing the Height Act. (Washington City Paper)