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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

No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

Political Crumbs

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).


An Idaho Six Pack

Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


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