Political Notebook: 'State-Mandated Rape'

Bits and bites from the world of Virginia and national politics.

Voters favor status quo on guns, abortion rights: The Richmond Times-Dispatch and Christopher Newport University conducted a poll of 1,018 registered voters in Virginia from Feb. 4 to 13.

According to that poll:

  • About 66 percent want Virginia's one-gun-per-month restriction to remain in place; the percentage of opposition is higher among women.
  • About 80 percent want colleges and universities to be able to ban guns on their campuses.
  • About 55 percent oppose requiring a woman to have an ultrasound before an abortion.
  • About 52 percent oppose defining life as beginning at conception.

Gov. Bob McDonnell's approval rating is at 59 percent, the paper reports. McDonnell is considered a potential vice presidential running mate. He will have to weigh in on several controversial issues this year, including the one-gun-per-month repeal and the ultrasound requirement.

The full poll is here, broken down into various subsets -- age, race, political leanings -- though there's no mention of the poll's margin of error.

Abortion bills draw protest, mockery: After spending six years in South Carolina, I can appreciate when other states are the national punchline. Virginia took its turn this weekend on "Saturday Night Live," thanks to anti-abortion measures working their way through Richmond. The Washington Post has an SNL recap.

On a more serious note, an estimated 1,000 to 1,500 people locked arms stood in silent protest on Monday, President's Day, over those same anti-abortion measures, according to the Associated Press. Del. Bob Marshall, a Republican seeking his party's nomination in a U.S. Senate race, saw the opposition, which he called "impressive," according to the AP, but asked, "What's new about that?" Marshall's personhood bill was one of the targets of the protest.

The Washington Post caught some of the more colorful slogans protestors displayed Monday, including, "I am not a (expletive) incubator."

The AP talked to a woman wearing a sticker that pleaded, "Say No to State-Mandated Rape."


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