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Bush Job Approval Rating Falls Below 30% in Minnesota

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President George W. Bush's approval rating has tumbled to an all time low in Minnesota—falling to 29 percent in the latest SurveyUSA poll (conducted June 8-10). Bush's descent in the Gopher state has been gradual but steady in the more than 2 years since SurveyUSA began polling Minnesota residents in monthly surveys. In May 2005 Bush's approval rating was at 47 percent. Just before the 2006 elections, in October, 35 percent approved of his job performance.

In the June SurveyUSA poll, 71 percent of Minnesota Republicans still approve of the job Bush is doing, but only 26 percent of independents—a crucial demographic totaling approximately one-quarter to one-third of Gopher State residents —and just 5 percent of Democrats.

Early in his first term—in April 2001—Bush had a healthy 56 percent approval rating in the state, which rose to 87 percent just after the 9/11 attacks (Minnesota Poll). The last public poll in Minnesota which registered a majority of the state approving of his performance was in January 2005, at 51 percent (Minnesota Poll).

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Political Crumbs

Strike Three for Miller-Meeks

Iowa Republicans had a banner day on November 4th, picking up both a U.S. Senate seat and one U.S. House seat, but Mariannette Miller-Meeks' defeat in her third attempt to oust Democrat Dave Loebsack in the 2nd CD means the GOP will not have a monopoly on the state's congressional delegation in the 114th Congress. The loss by Miller-Meeks (following up her defeats in 2008 and 2010) means major party nominees who lost their first two Iowa U.S. House races are now 0 for 10 the third time around in Iowa history. Miller-Meeks joins Democrat William Leffingwell (1858, 1868, 1870), Democrat Anthony Van Wagenen (1894, 1912 (special), 1912), Democrat James Murtagh (1906, 1914, 1916), Democrat Clair Williams (1944, 1946, 1952), Democrat Steven Carter (1948, 1950, 1956), Republican Don Mahon (1966, 1968, 1970), Republican Tom Riley (1968, 1974, 1976), Democrat Eric Tabor (1986, 1988, 1990), and Democrat Bill Gluba (1982, 1988, 2004) on the Hawkeye State's Three Strikes list.


Larry Pressler Wins the Silver

Larry Pressler may have fallen short in his long-shot, underfunded, and understaffed bid to return to the nation's upper legislative chamber, but he did end up notching the best showing for a non-major party South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate in more than 90 years. Pressler won 17.1 percent of the vote which is the best showing for an independent or third party U.S. Senate candidate in the state since 1920 when non-partisan candidate Tom Ayres won 24.1 percent in a race won by Republican Peter Norbeck. Overall, Pressler's 17.1 percent is good for the second best mark for a non-major party candidate across the 35 U.S. Senate contests in South Dakota history. Independent and third party candidates have appeared on the South Dakota U.S. Senate ballot just 25 times over the last century and only three have reached double digits: Pressler in 2014 and Ayres in 1920 and 1924 (12.1 percent). Pressler's defeat means he won't become the oldest candidate elected to the chamber in South Dakota history nor notch the record for the longest gap in service in the direct election era.


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