Virginia voters disapprove of two hotly debated measures: making it harder to get an abortion, and making it easier to buy a handgun, according to a poll published by Quinnipiac University last week.
The poll also showed that job approval ratings for both Gov. Bob McDonnell and the state Legislature have dropped since the scores were last published on Feb. 9. McDonnell dropped from a 58 percent positive approval rating to a 53 percent, and the General Assembly's approval rating dropped from 47 to 38 percent.
According to Quinnipiac, this is McDonnell's lowest rating since the university's independent Virginia surveys began in June 2011. Quinnipiac also reports that this is the first time the legislature has received a negative grade.
"The governor's numbers are down, from a net positive 34 percentage points last month to a net 21 points today, but he's still above the 50-percent mark," Peter A. Brown, the assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute said in a press release. "The controversy over the ultrasound and handgun bills would be a logical explanation for the decline in his approval rating, which had been above 60 percent for much of last year."
Another possibility for the slide is the bitter budget stalemate; the Senate passed its version earlier this week and negotiators from the House and Senate are now working on a final version.
The poll showed that Virginia voters disagree 52 to 41 percent with a new law that requires women seeking an abortion undergo an ultrasound examination at least 24 hours before the procedure. The poll also showed that Virginia voters approved 72 to 21 percent that government should not make laws that would try to convince women seeking an abortion to change their minds.
Clearly, the media uproar over the legislation (which reported absurd pro-abortionist claims that requiring "transvaginal" ultrasounds amounted to "state-sponsored rape") had an impact. A poll from the Family Foundation released in January showed that in Virginia half of men and 57 percent of women support ultrasound laws.
While women disapprove of the new ultrasound law 49 to 44 percent, the Quinnipiac poll found that men tend to disapprove of it even more, 56 to 38 percent.
Quinnipiac's poll also shows that they disapprove of a new law that has no limits on an individual's handgun purchases per month.
While some approval ratings dropped, others retained their net positive ratings. U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Jim Webb, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli had a positive approval rating.