Questions Continue to Surround McDonnell - WSET.com - ABC13

Questions Continue to Surround McDonnell

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Reporter: Josh Farmer

Richmond, VA - Governor Bob McDonnell woke up a little less popular Wednesday morning.

The latest Quinnipiac Poll has the governor's approval at 46%, with the biggest drop being among women and independent voters.

The recent numbers are a significant drop for a governor who had been very popular.

While the approval number isn't terribly low, but it's the lowest it's been since McDonnell took office.

About 40% said they didn't like the way he was handling the recent controversy over gifts to him and his family.

With less than a year remaining in the Governor's Mansion, it leaves plenty of questions about the future.

"I don't know where these things come from. The press is -- some of the press accounts have been just completely out of control," Governor McDonnell said.

Governor McDonnell has made a career pointing to differences between Richmond politics and what people hear and see in Washington.

Lately, some of those fingers are pointing right back, however.

"It's hurt me, personally. In thirty-seven years, no one's ever raised questions about my integrity or my character," McDonnell said.

"I trust Bob. I think he's an honest, trustworthy individual," Sixth District Republican Chairman Wendell Walker said of McDonnell.

With the Governor facing questions about improper donations, Rolex watches, and kitchen cookware, party leaders are asking Virginians to ignore distractions and focus on results.

"I think the important thing we need to remember is that the leadership that Governor Bob McDonnell has brought to the Commonwealth of Virginia has been one that has put our lives in a better position," Walker said.

"It has a really remarkable fall from the pinnacle of national power. Bob McDonnell very well could have been the attorney general right now if Mitt Romney had been elected president last November," added James Hohmann with Politico.

Two years ago, the governor was being vetted as a possible Vice President. A year ago, his popularity seemed untouchable. Many say it's a different story today.

"There are two problems for McDonnell. There's the appearance problem -- which is very, very bad. And, then there's the legal problem -- which is bad, but we don't really know how bad."

Walker - "Investigations have a way to work out all the information and things like that. So, I think we just need to be patient," Hohmann said.

Unfortunately for McDonnell's party, patience may be hard to come by in 2013.

"This is all now playing against the backdrop of a competitive governor's race. You're going to see millions of dollars in ads spent trying to link Cuccinelli to Bob McDonnell," Hohmann added.

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