Morning Read: McDonnell Still Popular Despite Star Scientific Scandal, Poll Finds

A new Washington Post shows that Gov. Bob McDonnell is still a popular politician and Virginia voters aren’t really paying attention to the Star Scientific scandal unfolding in the media.

The poll, released Sunday, found that 64 percent of all registered voters approve of the job he’s doing as governor. That's up six percentage points from last year -- and it's as high as it has ever been in any Post poll throughout his tenure.

Fifty-two percent of Democrats say McDonnell is doing a good job, compared with 38 percent last September.

The polls comes as McDonnell is receiving attention for his role in the Star Scientific controversy -- a beleaguered Virginia company whose CEO footed the $15,000 catering bill for the governor’s daughter’s wedding in 2011. A mere 32 percent of all Virginia residents say they are following the story even somewhat closely, including a just 9 percent following it “very closely.”

Another Post Poll released Saturday showed Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli leading Democrat Terry McAuliffe in Virginia's gubernatorial race, 46 to 41 percent among all Virginia voters and a more significant 51 to 41 percent lead among those who say they will definitely cast a ballot in November.

However, nearly half of the electorate says they’re either undecided or could change their minds.


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* The District is expected to spend at least $35,000 to respond to a "confidential, informal inquiry" from the Securities and Exchange Commission, which started an investigation in October into disclosures surrounding sales of the city's municipal bonds. (Washington Examiner)

* McAuliffe visited Norfolk Sunday to present his transportation ideas, the first stop in a series of planned campaign stops over the next several days. (Virginian-Pilot)

* Loose Lips will return soon. (Washington City Paper)

* The developer behind Union Market in Northeast is proposing significant changes to its plans for nearby Gateway Market, cutting out the office component in favor of more residential units, redesigned retail and a possible hotel. (Washington Business Journal)

* The D.C. Taxicab Commission Chairman appeared on WAMU Friday and said that the commission is sticking to its timeline of requiring cabs to accept credit card payments no later than Aug. 31. (Washington Post)

* Maryland state employees whose domestic partners and children receive health insurance coverage are going to have to get married if they want to keep those benefits after January 2014. (Washington Examiner)

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