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State By State, They No Longer Approve of Bush

by RonChusid

Survey USA found, as in other recent polls, that Bush’s popularity has dropped tremendously the last few months. They looked at Bush’s approval state by state.

Bush has higher approval than disapproval ratings in just ten states: Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Nebraska, Texas, Alabama, North Dakota, Montana, Oklahoma and Mississippi. Louisiana and North Carolina are tied.

This leaves a lot of red states where Republican support may be weakening. For example, in Ohio 37% approve compare to 60% disapproving of Bush’s job. Missouri is only slightly better with a 38% approving and 58% disapproving. Nationwide only 41% approve of Bush’s job performance while 55% disapprove.

26 Responses to “State By State, They No Longer Approve of Bush”

  1. Ron

    KJ will be happy to see those Missouri numbers.

  2. Salon’s War Room has a piece on this too –

    For the president, 38 flavors of bad

  3. I think there is only one reason why not even more sites have stories on this–there are too many polls to report. Zogby, Ramsussen, and probably others also have bad news for Bush this week.

  4. Ron

    Amazing, simply amazing. Now wew know the drop in Bush’s popularity in 2005 is a naional trend, not just the product of blue states disliking Bush even more. Of course there’s no rule that says Bush’s numbers will be like this in Nov. 2005, but so far as we can see it seems like this has moved beyond buyer’s remorse to “I’m gonna sue that no good company for selling me a lemon?”
    I must admit I’m a little jealous that I didn’t find this, but all this statistical stuff makes me as excited as a kid in a candy store. What’s amazing to me is Bush’s falloff even in certain southern areas (e.g. Louisiana? North Carolina? Amazing!). South Carolina has lower approval than disapproval? That’s astounding, the “state that led the south into the Republican Party” disapproves of a southern conservative president. Amazing, just amazing. The 10 states where approval outpaces disapproval are not surprising. With all due respect to any liberal Mississippians here, I gotta say I agree with my Civil War professor from college in Baltimore. She said “When Mississippi seceded we should have just let it go.” Personally, I would add Texas and Alabama to that list.

    If your out there, I have a question: I’ve heard over the last couple of years that one big reason the Dems were falling behind in Missouri, and why Kerry lost the state by 6%, is that whatever misgivings people in Urban and Suburban Kansas City and St. Louis, Bush was sooooooo popular in rural Missouri, especially after 9/11. Is this true that Bush’s victory there in 2004 is almost totally due to rural Missouri? Or did Bush do well in suburban Missouri?
    Most important: What accounts for the changed Bush numbers now? The war? economy? Do these folks in rural Missouri realized they were snookered?
    Even in Bush’s numbers should go up for some satanic reason, remember that in 1986 Reagan had approval ratings over 60% at the time of the midterms that year (the Iran-Contra scandals on hit the news after the election). Nevertheless, the Senate switched from 53-47 GOP to 53-47 DEM as a result of the voters good judgement in 1986.
    Trivia question: Who was the Senate Democrat who chaired the Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee who beat back Reaganism in 1986?
    Hint: It was a certain junior Senator from Massachusetts whose name was/is not “Ted.”

  5. Nick,

    Here’s a question which might be up your alley. Seeing things like Edwards being invited to speak in Iowa, I’m wondering about how successful losing VP candidates have been in terms of later winning the nomination and/or Presidency.

    In recent years we saw Lieberman do poorly, but that is partially due to him being more conservative than the bulk of the party. Ed Muskie comes to mind as someone who was the front runner for quite a while before his campaign fell apart.

    (Technically Mondale would fit this as he lost when Carter ran for reelection and later won the nomination, but I’m thinking primarily of people who never were VP).

  6. Here’s an interesting line from Salon’s coverage of this poll:

    If poll results equaled Electoral College votes, Bush would have about 75 of them right now. It takes 270 to win.

    However there is another lesson of the 2004 election–having a favorability rating under 50% does not mean you will lose a state as it is possible that the voters will like the other candidate even less. That’s why Bush concentrated on demonizing Kerry, allowing him to win states where people were not thrilled about Bush’s record. Still, with Bush falling this much, it is hard to see him winning.

  7. Ron

    With one big exception its never happened. Losing VP candidates don’t become nominees for president (let alone elected) period. Of course the one big exception was Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Roosevelt ran as VP on the Cox ticket in 1920, which lost in a landslide to Harding/Coolidge. that being said, it was 12 YEARS before Roosevelt got the presidential nomination (1932). So Edwards has to wait until 2016 (that’s if history is any guide).
    I liked Edwards a lot, but I never understood why he ran for pres. I kept thinking “win re-election in 2004. Run in 2008 if we don’t get it this year, or be our VP candidate in 2004.” It was like if FDR ran for president in 1920 BEFORE his terms as governor of NY. As of 1920, Roosevelt had only been a two term state legislator and Assisant Secretary of the Navy.
    For all of his populism and stirring rhetoric, I must say I can’t see Edwards pulling a Roosevelt (at least not in 2008). Of course, if the economy is even remotely as bad in 2008 as it was in 1932, the Dems could nominate someone who drools on the debate stage with no clothes on and still win. FDR was the best president of the 20th century and a political genius. Frankly, only Lincoln and Washington could be called better than FDR.
    Still, like 1980 and 1992, the election of 1932 wasn’t so much about electing the challenger as it was about getting the incumbent out of there as quickly as possible. Once the challenger was shown to not be some sort of radical crazy-guy, the incumbent’s goose was cooked (however unfairly this was the case in 1980).

  8. Nick,

    I agree that Edwards doesn’t appear to have the credentials to be the nominee, but that might not necessarily stop him. Imagine if he had done a bit better in the Iowa caucus, and if Kerry hadn’t surged at the end. He might have won the nomination if he had won in Iowa and if he could have followed up with a good showing in New Hampshire. (There’s also a good chance that Kerry would have still won in New Hampshire if he had come in second in Iowa, and we would have had a protracted two man race.)

    It looks like there is no major advantage to having been the VP candidate on a losing ticket, but there is also no stigma attached to losing in this case. People like Lieberman and Muskie lost in their attempts for the Presidential nomination for reasons other than for their previous loses as VP candidate. In Edwards’ case, having run as VP might wind up helping him (even if it is not enough to win) since having been chosen to run as VP partially makes up for the lack of real experience in terms of perceptions.

    I think that much of his success came from the media pushing the idea of a Southerner being the only Democrat who could win. Warner now appears to be the media’s choice based upon being a Southern Governor.

  9. I don’t get the Edwards appeal. Never did. I personally think he didn’t have enough experience in 04 and won’t in 08.

  10. Pamela,

    Edwards had appeal because of the Clintonesque features (i.e. looks, charisma, southern charm, cute kids, and so on). I like his wife Elizabeth though.

  11. Ron
    I agree with what you wrote, especially about the media pushing the notion that only a Southern Democrat can win. The one thing I might add is that most journalists think that not only does it have to be a southerner, it also CANNOT be a southern liberal.
    I just don’t get it. I know that the last three Dems were from the South, but LBJ only became president becuase JFK was murdered (in the South no less). Heck, even LBJ (a southern liberal) went to his grave in 1973 thinking the US would never elect a southerner president.
    Carter was a southerner, but a southern liberal who believed in things like high minimum wages and high taxes on the wealthy, increased funding for social programs, and national health insurance. OK so he wasn’t as liberal as Ted Kennedy, but one can be liberal and not be as liberal as Ted.
    Personally, I think a lot of journalists want Dems to believe that the Clinton model is the model for success, i.e Liberal on some social issues but relatively conservative on economic ones. That way upper-middle class (or even higher class) journalists don’t have to feel guilty about their wealth (“hey there’s a Dem in the White House”) but also they won’t have to worry about paying much higher taxes. If “Clinton 2” makes balancing the budget an 11th commmandment, then these folks can also make money without worrying their newfound wealth is the result of wrecking the country fiscally.
    Finally, even the most conservative Democrat ain’t gonna be elected with the help of the Christian Coalition. Unlike the 1980s when some nouveau riche felt some guilt for getting rich under Reagan (who was elected partially through the efforts of the socially intolerant Moral Majority) a Democrat won’t be tied to people who use social issues (and in some cases downright racism) to get elected.

  12. Pamela,

    In addition to what Indie wrote I’ll add that while Edwards may not be as liberal as Kerry, he’s liberal enough (especially on economic issues) that he qualifies for a label that has been missing since Jimmy Carter left the scene in 1981: a southern populist. While race relations have improved, the south has gotten so conservative on most other issues that populists like Edwards (especailly white ones) don’t come along that much anymore (especially ones that are charismatic).
    I agree the Edwards worship was overdone by some, and the notion that Kerry picked him to offset Kerry’s alleged “woodeness” was idiotic to say the least. Still, the combination of charisma, populism, and rarity made Edwards atttractive. A man with Clintonesque charisma, who unlike Clinton, really IS a populist. It’s hard for me to blame Dem voters for checking Edwards out.

  13. Ron

    There’s an article that you can Google that you HAVE to post about. Written by Amy Waldman for the Washington Monthly in November, 1995 the article is called “Class, Not Race.” Even though it’s nearly 10 years old, it is still valid today. It talks about how the upward mobility of journalists (in particular the Washington Post) since the 1980s has led to “vigorous consumer and corporate investigations” going out of style among many journalists.
    Did you ever wonder why Kerry’s critiques of Bush’s economic program (or Kerry’s economic solutions) weren’t covered in depth? Or wonder why the degree to which Bush’s economic policies hurt the poor AND middle class was not front page, this article goes a long way in explaining that.

  14. Pamela,

    As far as Edwards goes, he’s a paper tiger.

    M own opinion is that Kerry lost the vote, especially in Ohio, but also in other states (such as Missouri) that had gay marriage restrictions added to their state constitutions. I think there were 11 states. Of the 11, Bush won 9. Rove expanded the GOP base. If there is no swing vote, expand the base. Give Rove (get sick here) some credit. He figured it out.

    ’06 will be interesting. I hear there is another Iraq war veteran running for Congress as a DEM in PA, Patrick Murphy, I think is his name.

    BTW, I live in Kerry World, so what do I know.

  15. Blue Washington

    I’m confused. Are you blaming Kerry for the loss or the gay marriage amendments? What’s more, did Rove expand the GOP base, or just do a damn good job of getting Republicans everywhere, even ones in heavily Democratic precincts, to vote? I think there are still swing voters out there, the Dems problems are:
    1. The GOP does an excellent job of turning out their voters, Dems do a good but not great job. (Note to liberals: Please learn to come out and vote even if the Dem candidate is not as liberal as you on every single issue).
    2. According to polls I’ve seen at Pew and elsewhere, many middle-income swing voters, particuarly in the Midwest, are not as hawkish as Cheney or as conservative as Jerry Falwell, and are probably closer to the Dems on economic issues. Unfortunately, if it comes down to erring on the side of beng too culturally liberal or too culturally conservative, swing voters will tend to err on the side of the latter. Rove knows this and that’s why the GOP pushed to have the anti-gay marriage amendment on the ballot in so many swing states.
    While Kerry won a slim majority of voters in the $30,000-$50,000 category (and did better among the middle quintile than any Democrat since the 1970s), if you can get enough of these folks to vote their cultural views -combined with the fact that wealthier voters are more likely to vote and vote Republican- you can get the Republicans to win (albeit by a small margin).

  16. Blue Washington

    Well there’s nothing wrong with living in Kerry world! Thankfully some of us get what that is about.

    Rove was brilliant in expanding the GOP base, as much as we hate to admit it… now let’s get rid of him.

    Actually the GOP has been expaning their base for year under wire. I wish people would wake up about that. The infighting in the Dem party will be the end of the Dem party if people don’t wake up.

  17. I just read something in the couple of weeks where someone in Ohio gave the opinion that Bush would not have taken the state if not for getting more people on the religious right out to vote due to having gay marriage on the ballot.

    While the Republicans will continue to try to find such wedge issues, I suspecect that 2004 will be the height of their success. They can’t use gay marriage in areas where they’ve already passed a ban, and I doubt they will find other issues as effective.

    If Row v. Wade is overturned abortion will become an even bigger political issue but, while it will get the religious right out, it will also turn far more people against Republicans who try to ban abortion.

  18. Nick writes: “Are you blaming Kerry for the loss or the gay marriage amendments? What’s more, did Rove expand the GOP base, or just do a damn good job of getting Republicans everywhere, even ones in heavily Democratic precincts, to vote?”

    The gay marriage amendments were a calculated move by Rove and the Republican state legislatures where those amendments appeared to turn out the base. As Paul Begala noted in his post-election analysis, Bush turned out “10 million new evangelical voters” to the polls in November ’04 who had “never voted before”. That’s an astonishing number. Much of the post-election hoopla downplayed the role of the marriage amendments and evangelicals, but it’s erroneous to do so. Those people provided the margin of victory, both electorally and in the popular vote, for Bush.

  19. Nick, Pamela, Ron and Todd:

    I do not blame Kerry for the election loss. Bush’s Brain out maneuvered the Shrum group with the gay marriage amendments. Is that a knock on Kerry? No, not directly. The person at the top of the organization has to take ultimate responsiblity. (Think “Bay of Pigs”)

    It’s like taking a gernade and pulling the pin in your lap – it goes off – it’s your fault. But if someone throws a live gernade at you, is it your fault? No. JK had a gernade thrown at him. I just wish he had a good defence for it – or better yet, saw it coming. Sometimes you don’t see it coming.

    Anyway, Todd, I agree what you have to say. I remember on the day of the election, NPR was interviewing voters around the country; they spoke with a woman in Louisiana and she said she hadn’t voted in 20 years, but she was going to vote for the gay marriage amendment and George Bush. I thought to myself, “wow!”

  20. Blue Washington

    I hear you. Hindsight… oh what a tool.

  21. How did I miss this blog? LOL Gotta go to work, but will be back to re-read and comment. (And yes, these a good numbers to start the day with. heehee)

  22. BlueWashington Says:

    August 17th, 2005 at 10:58 pm

    Yep Patrick Murphy will be running for congress in Bucks County, PA in ’06!!! I found out when I caught the tail end of him on Hardball the other night. I immediately set a tape to record the 2am replay. I’m going to watch it this weekend. He is a great kid(young man…) The first time I met him was at our Kerry/Edwards victory fundraising concert in PA on 10/1/04. Patrick was one of our speakers at the concet. He also spoke at a NJ/PA Veterans for Kerry rally I attended a couple weeks later.

    He’s an attorney, was with 82nd Airborne and taught con law at West Point before being stationed in Baghdad. On the day of our concert, he’d been back in the US from Iraq for about a week. Within 2 days of touch down on US soil he said he started actively campaigning for Kerry.

    I was chatting with him out front with a couple other folks after he finished speaking. One of the things I found out was among other responsibilities, while in Baghdad he had oversight of some police stations, making sure they got paid etc. He mentioned he also managed to get internet access available for local Iraqis to use.

    At the time, it seems Bremmer would just randomly decide to create new laws all the time but the Iraqi’s wouldn’t know anything about them. Patrick complained that the US can’t just create new laws all the time and not inform the Iraqi citizens about them. The response he received back was that they are posted on the web. He responded back that the Iraqi’s didn’t have internet access! Didn’t matter. So, Patrick decided he was going to get some PCs wired that he could make available to local Iraqis. That way, they’d have at least some ability to keep abreast of new laws and keep themselves from getting arrested…

    I seem to remember abortion came up at one point for some reason and he mentioned that he was personally opposed to abortion(he’s a Catholic) but he feels one’s personal religious beliefs should never be imposed on others(a Kerry Catholic)

    This year I’ve been working with the Corzine campaign. After 11/8/05 he will no longer be one of my senators, he’ll be my new governor.

    Next year, I’m planning on hooking up with some great folks from the Bucks for Kerry group I met while working with them on the concert. I’m going to help them remove Senator “Man on dog sex” as their senator. Now I know I’ll also be helping them work just as hard getting Patrick elected to congress.

  23. Dave

    Rick “man on dog” has got to go!

  24. Wow. As usual, I’m late to the discussion and by the time I’m finished reading all the posts, I want to slink away with my thumb in my mouth… I feel so dumb! However, even knowing my candle power is no match (very bad pun there) and that you’ve all moved on, I’ll comment anyway.

    Nick, to answer your question: I don’t know about the suburbs in Missouri, but I do know that Bush was (at the time of the election), very popular in rural Missouri. I think you nailed the reasons above, the gay marriage amendment, the ”stay the course we believe in the war,” sentiment, and, given a choice, the decision to come down on the side of being a cultural conservative. I’d like to add, Kerry simply wasn’t present in rural Missouri. I can’t think of one rural area he visited here (although he might have.) I don’t know what his internal polls told him, but we weren’t on his list, for whatever reason(s).

    Ron is correct also: the gay marriage was a one-shot play (and yes, a brilliant one.) A side note: I was the very first person to vote in our precinct. I remember being excited, knowing there was a line behind me. However, when I turned around and looked at the faces, I had a moment of fear… shoot me for succumbing to stereotyping, but the people in line didn’t look remotely like Democrats, they looked like hard-core farmers, and those people did not vote for John Kerry.

    As for the change in Bush’s numbers here, all I can tell you is I’ve seen it first-hand. Die-hard Bush supporters have turned, and the war is the reason. Yes, they realize they were snookered. They don’t like the way America (the red, white and blue America they love), has conducted itself on the world stage. They get that the war in Iraq is in no way like “the Good War, WWII.”

    There are other, economic reasons, of course, and the recent surge in gas prices is a major concern. Interest in ethonal (E85) is huge… and farmer co-ops are looking into “American Fuel” and are suddenly(?) all about reducing our dependance on foreign fuel.

    (I’m no brain, but I pounded this issue on the old Kerry blog, as did many others… that Kerry hub his campaign directly to alternative energy as a way to tie all the other issues, security, jobs (healthcare), environment, education, etc. Teresa would have been such an asset, if this had been the focus of the campaign. Of course, no one hired me to be a consultant… maybe because I have no experience.)

    The sad thing is, here in the State of Missouri, right now, is the Republicans, the entire machine here, is so strong. And right now, here, in rural Missouri, the entire machine is distrusted and disliked. BUT, there isn’t an alternative in place.

    If I was a drinking woman, I’d be crying in my beer.

  25. The other thing… I need to somehow try to expand on this… is the feeling of “America First” sentiment that Bush voters have expressed.

    I really do think the first candidate who comes here with an “America First,” campaign, that is, someone who champions renewable fuels, will find the farmers and rural voters knee-deep at their speaches. And it could be the way of finally removing the dreaded vision people see when they hear the word “liberal.” (Actually, in this case, “progressive” is a better word to hang our hat on, if only because farmers here want progress. And they wouldn’t mind being linked to the environmental movement, as long as those “people on the Coasts” don’t dismiss them as hayseeds.)

  26. In other words, we need to singlehandly change what the word “Democrat” brings up in a rural person’s mind. We need a flag, an image, a metaphor, that resonates. Right now, more than before, renewable fuel is it.

    Hence the story on the front page of the New York Times the other day re: the biopharming project that is coming to Northwest Missouri.

    I can’t tell you how interesting it was, after I passed that link around (because god knows some of these folks wouldn’t be caught dead reading the New York Times!), how proud they were that the New York Times actually recognized this area!

    That’s the bridge that has to be crossed. In my opinion, anyway. And I do think John Kerry can do it.