-Bob McDonnell continues to be one of the more popular Governors in the country but that doesn't mean the Republican nominee putting him on the ticket next year would be a big game changer in the state.
50% of voters approve of the job McDonnell's doing to 31% who disapprove. That ties him for the 8th most popular out of 41 sitting Governors PPP has conducted polls about. He's pretty universally liked by the Republican base (83/8), is very solid with independents (49/29) and has a decent if not remarkable amount of crossover support from Democrats (18/56).
But when asked what impact McDonnell being the Republican Vice Presidential candidate next year would have on their vote, a plurality of voters at 44% say it wouldn't make a difference to them either way. And among those who say it would more- 31%- say it would make them less likely to vote Republican for President than say- 24%- that it would make them more inclined to vote for the GOP.
We found a similar result when we asked this question about Marco Rubio in Florida last month. 35% there said Rubio on the ticket would make them less likely to support the Republican nominee to only 31% who said it would be a positive. Rubio and McDonnell are both popular but it doesn't appear giving them the VP nod would be a difference maker in either of their critical swing states.
-Eric Cantor is not a popular figure with voters in his home state. 39% have no opinion about him and those who do view him more negatively than not- 29% have a favorable view to 31% with a negative one. Democrats like and Republicans dislike Cantor in similar numbers. What tips the balance against him is a 23/31 spread with independents. These numbers don't bode particularly well for a future statewide run in Virginia so continuing to climb the ladder of House leadership appears to be his better political future.
-Mark Warner continues to be one of the most popular Senators in the country. His 54/28 approval spread ties him for 12th out of 83 we've polled on. He's at 55/23 with independents and stands at 29% with Republicans. Jim Webb can't match Warner's popularity but he's above average as well at 45/36.
-Virginians are opposed to gay marriage but do support some form of legal recognition for same sex couples. 52% of voters think it should be illegal to 35% who support allowing it. But when you throw civil unions into the mix 65% of voters express favor for giving gay couples more rights to only 33% who oppose any recognition at all. A lot of voters appear to be more concerned about the semantics of 'marriage' than actually denying same sex couples the rights associated with it.
-Voters are leaning toward the GOP in this fall's legislative elections, but only by a 45/42 margin. They have the slight advantage because slightly more Republicans- 94%- commit to supporting their party's candidates than Democrats- 91%- commit to supporting theirs. Independents split evenly at 34%, a welcome change for Democrats after getting flattened with that group of voters in the 2009 election in the state.
-Virginia's favorite major league baseball team is the Braves (19%) with the Yankees taking second place honors at 14%. The Nationals, as close to a home state team as there is, can only muster a third place tie with the Red Sox at 11%. The Nationals do at least triumph in the 703 where 26% of voters say they're their favorite team. The Orioles come in 5th at 10% and the Phillies (4%) and Mets and Cubs (3%) have limited popularity.
-Finally Virginia voters prefer the Hokes over the Cavaliers, although the largest share of voters doesn't care at all. 46% have no opinion but among those who do 32% prefer Virginia Tech to 21% who go for Virginia. We also asked partisans of each school for approval ratings on their football and basketball coaches. Frank Beamer unsurprisingly gets the best marks with 70% of Hokie fans happy with the job he's doing to only 5%.
The other 3 coaches all get similar numbers- Seth Greenberg's at 39/5, Mike London's at 39/7, and Tony Bennett's at 34/4. The interpretation on all three of those guys is that the jury's out- very few fans are unhappy with them but most aren't ready to express support for them either. A lot of folks are taking a wait and see approach.
Full results here