Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Wisconsinites Extremely Dour on the National Scene

Bookmark and Share

The latest in a series of biannual polls conducted by Wisconsin Public Radio and St. Norbert College over the past decade demonstrates that Wisconsinites view the state of the nation—its institutions and economy—to be of grave concern.

An incredibly low 18 percent of the 400 adults surveyed between March 25th and April 5th view the country to be headed in the right direction, while 77 percent believe it to be headed in the wrong direction. This marks a 4-point drop in those holding an optimistic view, down from 22 percent from WPR's survey last November. When George W. Bush began his second term back in early 2005, 40 percent of Badger State residents thought the country was headed in the right direction. The 77 percent citing the USA as headed in the "wrong direction" is six points higher than the previous record level—72 percent—documented in the previous two WPR surveys conducted in April and November 2007.

The new poll also shows President Bush with the lowest job approval rating to date—just 31 percent of Wisconsin adults are satisfied with his performance—down from 36 percent last fall and the previous low of 34 percent in April 2007. When Bush began his second term in early 2005, more than half of Wisconsinites (51 percent) were satisfied with his job performance; the president has thus endured a 20-point drop in three years in WPR surveys.

Economic concerns have dominated the Upper Midwest and the country in recent months, and the new WPR poll clearly indicates the economy is foremost on the minds of Wisconsinites when it comes to the 2008 presidential election. In an open-ended question, nearly one-third (32 percent) of Badger State residents cited the economy and jobs as the most important issue in the presidential race—almost more than Iraq (23 percent) and health care (12 percent) combined.

The conventional wisdom holds that such dreary national news spells doom for the party in power—notably the party in control of the presidency. This would normally spell doom for the Republican Party in the presidential race, though the poll also found just 27 percent of Wisconsin adults are satisfied with the job performance of the U.S. Congress, which is controlled by Democrats in both chambers. Though a member of the D.C. community for more than two decades, if John McCain can somehow remake his image back into the "maverick D.C. outsider," he may be able to rise above the low negative marks the Badger State is giving its national institutions—at least more than his eventual Democratic competitor.

Previous post: Obama Still Toughest Democratic Opponent for McCain in Battleground States
Next post: North Carolina vs. Kentucky: A Snapshot of How Racial and Economic Politics Shape the Democratic Vote

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Who Has Won the Most Votes in US Senate Electoral History?

Only three of the Top 10 and nine of the Top 50 vote-getters of all time are currently serving in the chamber.

Political Crumbs

Six for Thirteen

Collin Peterson remarked last month that he is leaning to run for reelection to Minnesota's 7th Congressional District in 2016. If he does and is victorious, he will creep even closer to the top of the list of the longest-serving U.S. Representatives in Minnesota history. The DFL congressman is only the sixth Minnesotan to win at least 13 terms to the U.S. House of the 135 elected to the chamber in state history. Peterson trails 18-term DFLer Jim Oberstar (1975-2011), 16-term Republicans Harold Knutson (1917-1949) and August Andresen (1925-1933; 1935-1958), and 14-term DFLers Martin Sabo (1979-2007) and John Blatnik (1947-1974). Andresen died in office, Sabo and Blatnik retired, and Knutson and Oberstar were defeated at the ballot box in 1948 and 2010 respectively. At 70 years, 7 months, 11 days through Monday, Peterson is currently the ninth oldest Gopher State U.S. Representative in history. DFLer Rick Nolan of the 8th CD is the seventh oldest at 71 years, 1 month, 23 days.


Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


more POLITICAL CRUMBS

Humphrey School Sites
CSPG
Humphrey New Media Hub

Issues />

<div id=
Abortion
Afghanistan
Budget and taxes
Campaign finances
Crime and punishment
Economy and jobs
Education
Energy
Environment
Foreign affairs
Gender
Health
Housing
Ideology
Immigration
Iraq
Media
Military
Partisanship
Race and ethnicity
Reapportionment
Redistricting
Religion
Sexuality
Sports
Terrorism
Third parties
Transportation
Voting