RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - President Barack Obama's job approval continues a nine-month slide in Virginia, particularly his handling of the conflict in Syria in a new statewide poll released Thursday.
A Quinnipiac University poll showed that 52 percent of 1,405 registered Virginia voters disapprove of Obama's performance overall. That compares with January, when 52 percent approved of his performance and only 44 percent disapproved. Just last November, Obama became the first Democrat since President Franklin D. Roosevelt to win Virginia in back-to-back elections.
But when asked specifically about the president's response to the alleged use of chemical weapons on Syrian civilians by that country's government, 54 percent disapproved. By a ratio of 69 percent to 29 percent, poll respondents opposed the use of cruise missiles to attack targets in Syria linked to chemical weapons. Even those in military households opposed U.S. action in Syria 63 percent to 30 percent.
Support, however, was strong - 72 percent to 18 percent - for averting military intervention by having international monitors take control of Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles.
Embattled Gov. Bob McDonnell's job approval remains low, but not as low as that of the General Assembly. Forty-six percent approved of McDonnell's performance to 36 percent who disapproved. Forty-two percent approved of the legislature's work while 41 percent did not.
Yet when asked whether they were satisfied with the way things are going in Virginia, 60 percent said they were satisfied.
U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner, a Democrat who seeks re-election next year, got the highest performance rating at 61 percent, unchanged from Quinnipiac polls in July and August. Fifty-three percent approved of how the state's other Democratic senator, Tim Kaine, is handling his duties. That's roughly the same range where it stood the past two months.
Forty-one percent approved of the job Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling is doing to only 18 percent who disapproved, also in roughly the same range as the past two months.
The poll, conducted in live interviews with people on land lines and cellular phones from Sept. 9-15, has a margin of sampling error of plus-or-minus 2.6 percentage points.