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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

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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