New polling from Virginia’s 7th Congressional District, one of the more reliably conservative districts in the country, shows surprising vulnerabilities for Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, especially on the issue of women’s health.
In the poll from from Harrison Hickman obtained exclusively by ThinkProgress, voters say they would support a pro-choice candidate over a candidate who is pro-life by an unexpectedly large margin, 68 percent to 23 percent. The finding comes after intense media coverage of efforts by state Republicans to mandate transvaginal ultrasounds prior to obtaining an abortion, a procedure described by critics as “state-sponsored rape.” The resulting backlash from women in Virginia forced Governor Bob McDonnell (R) and his allies at the statehouse to moderate their efforts.
Eric Cantor has a 100% rating from the National Right To Life Committee. The poll also calls into question Republicans’ scorched earth policy when it comes to working with the Obama administration. Fifty nine percent of voters say they would support a candidate who works with President Obama some of the time compared to just 32 percent of respondents who say they would vote for the candidate who opposes virtually everything proposed by the White House, as Cantor and the rest of the GOP have insisted upon for much of Obama’s first term.
And asked about Cantor specifically, voters disapprove of his handling of government spending, health care and reigning in the budget deficit, three key issues that Cantor and House Republicans have campaigned heavily on since 2008.
While Cantor is not among Republicans who are considered at risk by political prognosticators, 43 percent of voters would replace Cantor compared to just 41 percent who would reelect him. Cantor is running against Democratic Wayne Powell, a 30-year army veteran and moderate Democrat who is still relatively unknown in the district.