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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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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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