A new Quinnipiac poll out this week shows Virginia Gov. Robert F McDonnell with strong favorability ratings among demographics in which others in the GOP are lagging.

Forty-eight percent of women in Virginia approve of McDonnell (R), while 26 percent disapprove. McDonnell's approval among African-American voters was 41 percent to disapproval at 32 percent.

"He is the only Republican office-holder in the seven states surveyed by Quinnipiac University who got positive ratings from women, almost 2-1 in this case, and a plus score from black voters," said Peter A. Brown of Quinnipiac's Polling Institute. 

The favorability ratings among women may come as a surprise to those who thought McDonnell's chances to become Mitt Romney's vice presidential running mate were hurt earlier this year by controversial abortion legislation in the Virginia State Assembly.