Virginians are wildly in favor of improving roads and highways. Paying for that is another matter.

Traffic converges on highway I-495 South just west of the nation's capital on one of the busiest travel days of the year Nov. 23, 2011, in McLean. (Win McNamee/GETTY IMAGES)

Virginians are even less keen on higher gas taxes. Given the choice between that and tolls, voters prefer tolls 56 percent to 32 percent.

“There is broad public support for the idea of state action to improve the state’s roads and highways, but not on how such projects should be funded,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

Virginians are closely divided when it comes to uranium mining, a subject likely to be taken up in the General Assembly session that begins in January. Forty-two percent support mining, while 40 percent oppose it.

Support for mining is much higher among Republicans, who favor it by a margin of 69 percent to 19 percent. Democrats oppose it, 60 percent to 22 percent, while independents support it, 41 percent to 38 percent.

The Quinnipiac survey found that Virginians oppose year-round public schools, 51 percent to 43 percent; favor, by a margin of 49 percent to 42 percent, making it easier to fire public school teachers; and oppose privatizing the state’s port operations, 40 percent to 34 percent.

Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) remains popular, though his job-approval numbers are well below what they were a year ago, the poll also finds.

Quinnipiac surveyed 1,469 registered voters on land and cell lines Nov. 8-13. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.