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It also showed that Mr. McDonnell has won strong support from independents, who said they approve of him 59 percent to 24 percent. Republicans gave him 77 percent to 11 percent approval.

Democrats disapprove of the governor’s performance 42 percent to 33 percent.

Mr. McDonnell’s pragmatic approach has had setbacks, but those, too, have seemed to come from both sides of the aisle.

He spent much of last fall pushing to end Virginia’s 76-year monopoly on liquor stores in a privatization attempt that fizzled as lawmakers from his own party said the plan would cut too much annual state revenue. They continued to reject the plan even after the governor scaled it back to include privatizing only retailers and not wholesalers.

Senate Democrats thwarted his effort to effectively cut state employee salaries by 2 percent by requiring all to contribute to the pension fund - instead of just those hired after July 1, 2010.

The governor also established two bipartisan commissions: one to streamline and cut down on state government and the other to assist in redrawing the boundary lines of state legislature and congressional districts. The first was mildly successful; the second, not at all.

Mr. McDonnell’s bipartisan redistricting commission, formed with much fanfare, accomplished next to nothing. Members issued recommendations for how to redraw the state’s 100 House seats, 40 Senate seats and 11 congressional seats, but they never submitted a map. Caught up in their own disputes over the process, legislators largely ignored the commission.

The reform commission, which met throughout last summer and fall, has had some modest success.

As his first act in office, just before the start of the legislative session, Mr. McDonnell tapped Republican legislators - and a few Democrats - to patron bills containing its recommendations.

His to-do list included two big-ticket items: effectively cutting state employee salaries by 2 percent by combining a 3 percent raise with a 5 percent contribution to the state pension fund, and combining several oversight agencies into one central inspector general. Legislators rejected the first measure, voting instead to pair the 5 percent pension contribution with a 5 percent raise.

They did accept the second measure to create a central inspector general, along with 18 smaller reforms - things like requiring state agencies to post invitations to bid online and allowing them to save money by sending less certified mail.

The group will continue meeting this summer, said Delegate Robert H. Brink, Arlington Democrat and commission member. He spoke proudly of creating the inspector general office and didn’t offer any criticisms of the commission’s work.

“I think this is a very, very important step both in terms of cutting down fraud, waste and abuse and maintaining public confidence in government operations,” Mr. Brink said.