Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) has drastically slipped in the polls after backing two controversial anti-abortion measures over the past several weeks: the fetal personhood bill and the mandatory ultrasound bill. But in an interview on CNN Tuesday night, he said the "War on Women" is something Democrats have invented.
"This 'war on women' argument is very unfortunate," he told John King. "It's false, and it's been the political theater for the Democrats for the past couple of months."
He continued, "Listen, if I had Obama's record on jobs, on spending, on debt and deficit, on energy, I would want to talk about something else, too. And, John, that's really what's going on. And it's just very unfortunate that this politics of division, separating men from women, rich from the middle class, continues to be the theme of this campaign."
If recent polling is any indication, Virginia voters disagree with McDonnell on this point. A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday shows that McDonnell's approval rating dropped a net 13 points in March to its lowest level since June 2011. The dip in support occurs in the month that McDonnell helped GOP legislators write a bill that requires women to have an ultrasound procedure at least 24 hours before having an abortion, even if the doctor deems it medically unnecessary.
The approval rating for the Virginia state legislature has also dropped from 47 percent to 38 percent since it passed the mandatory ultrasound bill in February.
"Virginia had been the only state surveyed by Quinnipiac University in which the state legislature had received a net positive job approval," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "The fact that the legislature's approval dropped so much, while approval ratings for other statewide elected officials are basically unchanged, indicates that voter dissatisfaction is targeted."