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Bush Ratings Tumble To Record Lows in Iowa

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In what seems like a monthly tradition at Smart Politics comes the latest report of new record low job approval ratings for President George W. Bush in the Upper Midwest—this time in Iowa.

The latest SurveyUSA poll conducted July 13-15 of 600 adults in Iowa shows only 28 percent approve of Bush's performance as President, with a record 69 percent disapproving. Bush's approval rating has tumbled in Iowa from 43 percent in January 2006's SurveyUSA poll—and has never eclipsed 40 percent since. Two-thirds of Iowa Republicans still give Bush positive marks, but only 5 percent of Democrats and just a shade over one-quarter of independents (28 percent).

Bush's 29 percent approval rating in Minnesota ties a record low set last month in the Gopher State. Sixty-eight percent disapprove. In Wisconsin, where Bush has generally enjoyed slightly higher ratings than in Iowa and Minnesota, 35 percent approve of the President's job performance—the fifth lowest mark in the Badger State in SurveyUSA's 26 consecutive months tracking of public opinion.

Bush's marks are dropping almost across the board—even in red states like Kansas, where the President received 62 percent of the vote in the 2004 election, but now labors with a 37 percent approval rating, the second lowest recorded in that state by SurveyUSA.

Below is a complete listing of Bush's approval marks in the 15 states polled by SurveyUSA this month:

Alabama = 42%
Kentucky = 38%
Kansas = 37%
Missouri = 37%
Wisconsin = 35%
Virginia = 32%
Ohio = 31%
Oregon = 31%
New Mexico = 30%
Minnesota = 29%
Washington = 29%
Iowa = 28%
California = 25%
New York = 23%
Massachusetts = 19%

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Political Crumbs

Final Four Has Presidential Approval

By edging Michigan in the final seconds Sunday, the University of Kentucky guaranteed that one school in the Final Four this year would be located in a state that was not carried by President Barack Obama in 2012. (Connecticut, Florida, and Wisconsin had previously earned Final Four slots over the weekend). Across the 76 Final Fours since 1939, an average of 3.1 schools have been located in states won by the president's ticket during the previous election cycle. All four schools have come from states won by the president 29 times, with the most recent being the 2009 Final Four featuring Connecticut, Michigan State, North Carolina, and Villanova. On 30 occasions three Final Four schools have been located in states won by the president, with two schools 11 times and only one school six times (the most recent being 2012 with Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, and Ohio State). There has never been a Men's NCAA Division I Final Four in which no schools were located in states carried by the president's ticket.


Three for the Road

A new Rasmussen Poll shows Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in a dead heat with likely 2014 Democratic nominee Mary Burke. Walker is seeking to win his third consecutive election after prevailing in 2012's recall contest. Eight of his predecessors accomplished this feat: Republicans Lucius Fairchild (in 1869), Jeremiah Rusk (1886), Robert La Follette (1904), Emanuel Philipp (1918), John Blaine (1924), Walter Kohler (1954), Warren Knowles (1968), and Tommy Thompson (1994). Three others Badger State governors lost on their third campaign: Democrat George Peck (1894), Progressive Philip La Follette (1938), and Republican Julius Heil (1942). One died in office before having the opportunity to win a third contest (GOPer Walter Goodland in 1947) while another resigned beforehand (Democrat Patrick Lucey in 1977 to become Ambassador to Mexico). Overall Wisconsin gubernatorial incumbents have won 35 of 47 general election contests, or 74.5 percent of the time.


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