Despite relatively positive news coming out of Iraq and a new campaign season that has focused the lens of the news media off the sitting president to the new contenders, George W. Bush cannot shake the horrendous job approval rating that he has faced in the Upper Midwest for nearly two and a half years.
New polling from SurveyUSA finds Bush's approval rating to be nearly identical across the Upper Midwest:
Iowa: 32 percent approve, 65 percent disapprove
Minnesota: 32 percent approve, 64 percent disapprove
Wisconsin: 31 percent approve, 67 percent disapprove
With all three of these states prime battleground targets in the 2008 race, the uniformly critical view of Bush's performance in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin seems to be the biggest potential albatross for Republican nominee John McCain, who is polling quite competitively in these states.
Independents, long McCain's strong suit, have not been friendly to the Bush administration in these states for quite some time, with less than one-third currently approving of Bush's job performance in each state:
Iowa: 26 percent approve
Minnesota: 29 percent approve
Wisconsin: 30 percent approve