Earlier, we posted numbers showing Americans shifting against John Boehner. At the same time, Virginians have soured on their own Eric Cantor, who is probably more responsible for holding up the extension of the payroll tax cuts than is Boehner.
When we last polled Virginia in July, before Congress cut a deal with President Obama to raise the debt ceiling, key House negotiator Cantor was already somewhat unpopular in his home state. 29% saw him favorably and 31% unfavorably. In the five-month aftermath of that deal, as Congress and its Republican leaders have gotten less popular, so has one of its most vocal and visible leaders, even on his home turf. Now, only 21% see one of their representatives positively, and 38% negatively, a decline of 15 points on the margin. Almost all of that decline has come within Cantor’s own party. Democrats remain equally against him as before (5-54), and independents have moved only a hair (from 23-31 to 25-37), but Republicans now side with him by only a 35-19 spread, versus 59-10.
While Virginia opposes legal same-sex marriage by a 34-53 margin, 59% say they favor at least civil unions for gay couples, including 70% of Democrats, 66% of independents, and 39% of Republicans.
Virginia does not like either the left’s or the right’s populist movements, but when given a direct choice between the two, they narrowly choose Occupy Wall Street over the Tea Party, saying they have a higher opinion of the former than the latter by a 38-37 margin. More see the Tea Party favorably (35%) than O.W.S. (31%), but the difference between their unfavorable marks is even greater—47% for the Tea Party versus 39% for O.W.S. Things look good for President Obama's re-election and the outcome of the electoral vote when both he and O.W.S. fare better in formerly red Virginia than nationwide.
In the NFL, a third of the state's voters have no favorite team or prefer someone other than the eight we listed. 29% root for the Washington Redskins, but only 2% favor the nearby Baltimore Ravens--the least of any of the teams. 10% cheer for the Dallas Cowboys (recently revealed as the least liked team in America and only the second most liked), 8% for the Philadelphia Eagles, 7% for the Pittsburgh Steelers, 5% for the Green Bay Packers (the new "America's Team"), and 3% each for the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers.
This seems to coincide with our finding that only two-thirds of the state considers themselves Southerners, and 34% do not. A lot of sports fans coming in from the North and other parts of the country. In July, we found that the New York Yankees (at 14%) were the second most popular baseball team behind the Atlanta Braves (19%), and that the Boston Red Sox tied the Washington Nationals for third at 11%.
Full results here.