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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.

Previous post: And A Third Iowa Poll: Romney Breaks Out
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Remains of the Data

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Political Crumbs

Evolving?

When Scott Walker "punted" back in February after being asked if he was comfortable with the idea of evolution he added, "That's a question a politician shouldn't be involved in one way or the other." However, it may very well be a question that is asked at one of the upcoming GOP debates this year. In South Carolina during the first GOP debate in 2012, FOX News' Juan Williams asked Tim Pawlenty, "Do you equate the teaching of creationism with the teaching of evolution as the basis for what should be taught for our nation's schools?" Pawlenty replied, "There should be room in the curriculum for study of intelligent design" but that it was up to the local school districts if it should be in a science class or comparative theory class. At the fourth Republican debate held in California, Jon Huntsman addressed the GOP becoming "anti-science" thusly: "Listen, when you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the science of evolution, all I'm saying is that, in order for the Republican Party to win, we can't run from science. We can't run from mainstream conservative philosophy."


73 Months and Counting

January's preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show Minnesota's unemployment rate of 3.7 percent was once again lower than Wisconsin's 5.0 percent. That marks the 73rd consecutive month in which Minnesota has boasted a lower jobless rate than its neighbor to the east dating back to January 2009 including each of the last 67 months by at least one point. The Gopher State has now edged Wisconsin in the employment border battle for 204 of the last 216 months dating back to February 1997. Wisconsin only managed a lower unemployment rate than Minnesota for the 12 months of 2008 during this 18-year span.


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