Complicating things for Mr. McDonnell, his office had to beat back sudden rumors over the weekend that he was about to resign after the conservative blog Bearing Drift said a plea deal involving a resignation was in the works.
On Monday, Mr. McDonnell told WWBT-TV in Richmond that such resignation claims are a “really, really bad rumor that you shouldn’t pay attention to.”
In polls since May conducted by The Washington Post, NBC/Marist and the Democrat-leaning Public Policy Polling firm, Mr. McDonnell has averaged a 56.3 percent approval rating compared to a 29.3 percent disapproval rating — a net positive of 27 percentage points.
Not so fast, Mr. Goldman said.
“Anybody who thinks they know how this thing will turn out politically ” he began, before trailing off. “Everything depends on what the facts are.”