Predictable: Governor McDonnell drops in ratings
RICHMOND — After a contentious legislative session that drew large protests and national ridicule to the state Capitol, Virginians are less supportive of Gov. Robert F. McDonnell and less optimistic about the direction of the state, according to a poll by The Washington Post.
The approval rating for McDonnell (R) dropped six points over the past year, from 62 percent to 56 percent. Thirty-five percent disapprove of the job he is doing — a nine-point increase from a year ago.
The governor still has firmly positive ratings at a time of political discord nationwide. But he has lost support among independents and urban women after a 12-month period that closed with a partisan standoff over the state budget and an uproar over a bill requiring women seeking an abortion to first undergo a vaginal ultrasound.
McDonnell had the legislation amended to instead require an external procedure, but those who opposed the measure are still more likely to disapprove of his job performance.
Forty-four percent of Virginians think the state is moving in the wrong direction — up five points from last year — but those numbers remain considerably lower than those who think the country is on the wrong track, according to the poll.
Suzanne Moore, a retired shop owner from Purcellville, said she was generally pleased with McDonnell’s performance except for his support of the ultrasound law, which she opposes.
“I believe in women’s rights,” said Moore, a 79-year-old independent voter. “I don’t see why they should have to jump through hoops that are put into law by the government that we’re being overrun by.”
I believe that Mrs. Moore speaks for many of us. It wasn’t just reproductive age women who got angry. The vintage women reared up in outrage even worse. They remember the bad old days. The ultra-sound represents extremism as does the personhood amendment that was tabled until next year’s session. Extremism will ruin any administration. It is possible to dislike abortion without legislating an ultra-sound to get make your point.
The extreme Republicans who dragged their more reasonable party members screaming and kicking over to the far right jumping off point of No-Where dealt a blow to both their party legislators and also to their governor. Governor McDonnell may have been slated for bigger things, such as being selected as a running mate for Vice President. The far right Virginia Republicans pretty much ruined that for him. After Sarah Palin, the National Republican Party is going to select very carefully. I seriously doubt if Governor Ultra-sound is going to be moderate enough to attract the independents needed to drive a stake through the heart of the Obama Freight train that is barreling down on Virginia, the biggest swing state, if the news is to be believed.
McDonnell’s slight fall from grace is huge in terms of viewing him as a running mate for Mitt Romney. He knew he had to walk back some of his party members, just didn’t do it enough. More and more GOP members will be ousted if they keep this far right tea party mentality up. All of that was a flash in the pan. Look where Bachmann, Perry, Caine, and the others are. Not heading up the ticket. It was all very predictable.
Look what happened in the City of Manassas. Make that not so quantum leap. The far right was beaten back by real Republicans. Perhaps they were just tired of being called RINOs.