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Wisconsinites Remain Sour about Bush, Direction of Country

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A mid-June Badger Poll, conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, finds the vast majority of Wisconsin residents are quite pessimistic about both national politics as well as the direction of the nation.

Only 33 percent of Wisconsinites are satisfied with the direction of the United States—virtually the same results found by the Badger Poll in a survey conducted in a late October 2006 (32 percent) in advance of that fall's general election. Sixty-three percent are disatisfied.

In addition to having strong concerns about foreign policy and the situation in Iraq, Badger State residents have a particularly sour view about the state of the nation's economy, with only 16 percent expecting economic conditions to get better during the next year, while more than double that amount (37 percent) expecting it to get worse. National economic forecasting was much rosier for Wisconsinites in March 2002 (56 percent 'better'), October 2004 (46 percent) and May 2005 (31 percent).

President Bush's approval rating—at 30 percent—mirrors that found in several recent polls both nationally and in the state of Wisconsin. However, although Congress gets fairly low marks nationally, at 41 percent Wisconsinites have much a higher approval rating of the legislative branch. The poll also found that by more than a four-to-one margin, Wisconsin residents believe the level of ethics and honest in Washington, D.C. has fallen (45 percent) during the Bush presidency compared to risen (10 percent). About half (44 percent) feel things have stayed about the same.

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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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