Jim Webb’s Falling Polls Numbers

MyElectionAnalysis points to a SurveyUSA poll showing newly elected Virginia Senator Jim Webb with only 42% approval and 47% disapproval in his home state. Furthermore, his “Approval ratings are below 50% in all geographic areas of the state, 45%-44% approval among independents. This stands in stark contrast to other members of Webb’s freshman class, all of whom are still basking in the afterglow of their recent election.”

Bruce McQuain passes along a commenter’s observation that these numbers are “5 points lower than Allen’s approval ever was in the final 20 months he was in there.”

I’d note, too, that his numbers stand in stark contrast to John Warner’s 62% approval and 29% disapproval in the same poll.

That’s quite amazing, really, given the love affair Webb seems to be enjoying with the Democratic leadership (witness his selection to give the SOTU response) and the Netroots. Then again, it arguably doesn’t much matter, given Webb doesn’t have to stand for re-election until 2012, assuming he’s even interested in a second term.

If he is, though, he’ll need to change his style. It’s one thing to be a maverick and quite another to be a jerk.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Mark says:

    It’s one thing to be a maverick and quite another to be a jerk.


  2. Tlaloc says:

    As always a single polling data point is highly suspect. If other polls show similar results then he should reconsider his stance (assuming he cares about the popularity). But for now this may well be simply an outlier.

  3. Chris says:

    Wow, a completely irrelevant poll. Who would care what his ratings are; he’s got, what 6 years until his next election. Move on, there’s nothing here to see.

  4. Dave Schuler says:

    Good idea. Heaven forbid he should be popular except when running for re-electoin.

  5. I think the term you are looking for is buyer’s remorse.

  6. just me says:

    I am not so sure you can say the poll is meaningless.

    I think part of the problem may be his apparant smoozing with the DNC leadership.

    Makes me think the voters “thought” they were electing a maverick, and so far he isn’t panning out.

    But unlike other freshmen he has probably gotten more face time, and also more bad press than other freshmen.

  7. Steven Plunk says:

    This poll represents a desire for change from his constituents. He should immediately apologize to the President, change his party affiliation, and vote to support the troop “surge”.

    Actually, no. You see that’s why we shouldn’t let polls dictate policy. Next time somebody trots out a poll and advocates a change in Iraq policy based upon dissatisfaction of voters think of this.

    You can’t govern through polls.

  8. Patrick McGuire says:

    “It’s one thing to be a maverick and quite another to be a jerk. ”

    With today’s politicians, how do you tell the difference?

  9. djneylon says:

    Maybe it’s the fact that the rather large community of active duty and retired military in Virginia is beginning to have major buyer’s remorse over electing what they thought was one of their own, but who has turned out to be just another Democrat.

  10. Rick says:

    Amazing how some folks suddenly point out that polls are meaningless and by no means a catalyst to change policy… unless it’s Bush and Iraq and what the MSM conjures up on some poll of 2pm latte drinkers at the fourbux in SFO.

  11. graywolf says:

    Seems once again to show the uselessness of polls.

    A poll showing this degree of swing so soon after the election, 2 months ago, must have been taken using penguins in Antarctica.