NEWPORT NEWS -- A CNU poll out Thursday shows less than half of voters surveyed following former Gov. Bob McDonnell's corruption indictment approve of how he handled his job as governor.

Dr. Quentin Kidd of the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University released the results of a statewide poll on former Gov. Bob McDonnell's approval rating and on this year's U.S. Senate election in Virginia.

The survey measured voters' approval of former Gov. Bob McDonnell, straddling news of his indictment on federal corruption charges and provided a glimpse of the charges' impact on his standing.

McDonnell's overall approval was 57 percent, but only 49 percent of voters surveyed after the indictment approved of how he handled the job as governor, according to Kidd.

CNUpoll results

'The indictment clearly reminded voters of the scandal that had overshadowed his last year in office,' said Kidd.

The poll also shows Sen. Mark Warner begins his campaign for reelection with 63 percent job approval among Virginia voters, but reaches just 50 percent in a potential head-to-head match up with former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie.

'The odds heavily favor Senator Warner, but he clearly has work to do to make the case to voters between now and November,' said Kidd.

Republican Gillespie drew 30 percent of the voters in the match up with Democrat Warner, though voters overall said they barely know Gillespie or the other two potential Republican challengers in the survey, Shak Hill and Howie Lind.

Gillespie begins the race with a 10 percent approval rating; Hill and Lind each had a 2 percent approval rating.

The Wason Center surveyed 1,023 registered Virginia voters, Jan. 15 to 22. The total margin of error is +/- 3.1% at the 95 percent level of confidence.

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