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Jim Doyle Approval Rating Continues to Tumble

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A majority of Wisconsin residents (52 percent) now disapprove of Democratic Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle's job performance, according to a new poll released this week by SurveyUSA. For only the second time in 26 consecutive monthly polls of 600 Wisconsin residents dating back to May 2005, more than 50 percent of Wisconsinites disapprove of Doyle's work as Governor, with just 41 percent approving of his performance.

Doyle has struggled at times this session to push his agenda through the state legislature (which has split control: Democrats have an 18-15 majority in the Senate while Republicans hold a 52-47 majority in the Assembly). Doyle's plan to expand state welfare programs was stalled in the legislature and this past month the Governor and Republican leaders have had a rhetorical battle while they posture in advance of negotiations on the state's $58 billion budget through the next two years.

Doyle enjoyed his highest approval numbers (55 percent) when he was re-elected last November with 53 percent of the vote (SurveyUSA, November 2006). But his numbers have slipped almost every month since: 49 percent in December 2006, 48 percent in January, 47 percent in February, 45 percent in March, back up to 48 percent in April, then down to 46 percent last month, and 41 percent in June.

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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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