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Women’s Health Controversies Take Toll on McDonnell

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Women’s Health Issues Take Toll on McDonnell

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Bob McDonnell

The controversial debate over women’s health issues in Virginia appears to have taken a toll on Gov. Bob McDonnell.

A Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday morning shows McDonnell’s approval rating slipping to 53-32 percent, a 13-point shift from last month, when it was 58-24 percent.

The governor, who has enjoyed sky-high approval ratings since taking office, has seen the biggest drop among women.

Women approved of his job 49-34 percent, down from 54-25 percent last month.

The state legislature is also under water with just a 38-47 percent approval. And the measures Republicans pushed through are also unpopular.

By a 52-41 percent margin, voters said they disagreed with the law that requires women to get an ultrasound before undergoing an abortion. By an overwhelming 72-21 percent margin, they said “government should not make laws which try to convince women seeking an abortion to change their minds,” Quinnipiac writes in a press release.

McDonnell reversed course on his support for requiring women to undergo a “transvaginal ultrasound” when he asked that the legislation be amended so "that no woman in Virginia will have to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound involuntarily." But he did support that “a transabdominal, or external, ultrasound” be required.

The debate over women’s health issues threatens Republicans’ chances nationally and in key swing states like Virginia.

President Barack Obama’s campaign has been using it to appeal to women. And in other states like Arizona, some of these measures have also lost steam.
 


Domenico Montanaro is NBC News' Deputy Political Editor and an NBC News First Read analyst. Read the national edition of First Read featuring Chuck Todd, Mark Murray and Domenico on msnbc.com.

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