Thursday, June 02, 2011

Elections Have Consequences Voters Starting To Realize

In November 2010, voters elected Republican governors with Republican legislative majorities in Ohio, Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin and Georgia.

Think Progress has created a fun graphic which shows that in all of those states, if voters could have a "do-over" election today, they would vote for the Democratic candidate instead. Currently, signatures are being gathered in Michigan to begin the process of being recalling Governor Vic Snyder, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker may face one next year.

Clockwise from left to right: Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin)
Chris Christie (R-New Jersey), Rick Scott (R-Florida)
 and Vic Snyder (R-Michigan)
One of these governors is the most unpopular state chief executive in the country. The question is, which one?
Florida's Rick Scott and Ohio's John Kasich are currently the leading contenders for the title of the most unpopular governor in America, according to a recent Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey. (A mere 32 percent of respondents approve of Scott, while just 33 percent support Kasich. A separate Quinnipiac poll puts Scott's approval even lower, at 29 percent.) Michigan's Rick Snyder is struggling with a 33 percent approval rating, and in Wisconsin, 43 percentapprove of Scott Walker, PPP found—down 3 points from February and 9 from Election Day 2010. Only 41 percent of respondents gave Iowa's Terry Branstad a thumb's up. Even New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a darling of the GOP, has seen his approval plummet in recent weeks, according to a recent PublicMind released by Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Talking Points Memo makes the point that these unpopular governors are heads of states which may be swing states in the 2012 presidential election, thus aiding President Obama's re-election:

A Quinnipiac poll released last week found that just 29% of voters approved of Scott's job performance, while a 57% majority disapproved. At the same time, Obama's approval rating rebounded from a negative 44% to 52% split in April to a positive 51% to 43% in May, and he increased his leads over each of several high-profile 2012 GOP contenders. Certainly some of that Obama bump is wholly unrelated to Scott -- the killing of Osama bin Laden, for one -- but Scott's unpopularity is sure to be a weight on his party's candidates next year if his standing doesn't improve.
In Ohio, a similar scenario has unfolded, where union-busting Gov. John Kasich is now so unpopular that a recent PPP poll showed him losing a do-over election by an astounding 25-point margin. In that same poll, just 33% of voters gave Kasich positive marks on his job performance, compared to 56% who said the opposite, tying Kasich with Rick Scott as the most unpopular of 38 governors PPP has surveyed.
Meanwhile, Obama posted comfortable leads against each Republican challenger pitted against him in 2012 contests in that state, despite posting a middling approval rating, with 46% of voters giving him a thumbs up versus 49% who gave him a thumbs down. In releasing those findings, PPP's Tom Jensen credited voter discontent with Kasich for helping put Obama over the top.

Why would anyone vote for a Republican, ever?

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