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New Lows for Bush in Wisconsin and Iowa

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President George W. Bush's job approval ratings have dipped to record lows in both Wisconsin and Iowa, according to the latest round of surveys released this month by the pollster SurveyUSA.

In a poll of 600 adults conducted May 11-13, only 32 percent of Wisconsinites approved of Bush's performance—down from the previous low of 33 percent set last month. This is the lowest approval rating by any public poll in Wisconsin released during Bush's tenure in the White House. A record 67 percent of Badger State residents disapprove of Bush's performance. One year ago, Bush was polling in the mid- to high 30s in Wisconsin, and two years ago, when SurveyUSA began regular approval ratings, Bush received marks in the low 40s.

In Iowa, SurveyUSA measured the Bush approval rating at 31 percent—a record low, just as the 67 percent disapproval rating was a record high for Bush in the Hawkeye State. The previous lowest approval rating measured by SurveyUSA was 34 percent, set last month.

The low marks in Iowa reported by SurveyUSA were trumped, however, by the latest KCCI-TV / Research 2000 poll, conducted May 14-16 of 600 likely voters. In that poll only 30 percent of Iowans approved of Bush's performance, while 68 percent disapproved.

This "Bush drag" unquestionably hurt GOP Congressional and state legislative candidates in the November 2006 elections. If Bush's approval ratings do not improve in the next year and a half, the question will become whether or not this drag will be trumped by the enthusiasm the new Republican presidential candidate can buoy with Republicans and independent voters in crucial swing states, like Iowa and Wisconsin.

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Remains of the Data

Strange Bedfellows: A Historical Review of Divided US Senate Delegations

Over the last century, states have been twice as likely to be represented by a single political party in the U.S. Senate than have a split delegation; only Delaware, Iowa, and Illinois have been divided more than half the time.

Political Crumbs

Haugh to Reach New Heights

The North Carolina U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis may go down to the wire next Tuesday, but along the way Libertarian nominee Sean Haugh is poised to set a state record for a non-major party candidate. Haugh, who previously won 1.5 percent of the vote in the Tar Heel State's 2002 race, has polled at or above five percent in 10 of the last 12 polls that included his name. The current high water mark for a third party or independent candidate in a North Carolina U.S. Senate election is just 3.3 percent, recorded by Libertarian Robert Emory back in 1992. Only one other candidate has eclipsed the three percent mark - Libertarian Christopher Cole with 3.1 percent in 2008.


Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


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