Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Teddy the K, in Free Fall--Does it Matter?

The monthly numbers from Survey USA's poll of all 50 goobernors are out, and the news continues to be bad and getting worse for Ted Kulongoski:

Do you approve or disapprove of the job Ted Kulongoski is doing as Governor?

Approve 42%
Disapprove 48%
Not Sure 11%

Approve 38%
Disapprove 54%
Not sure 9%

Approve 36%
Disapprove 56%
Not Sure 8%

Approve 33%
Disapprove 57%
Not Sure 10%
Ugh. Ted is now the 48th-least-liked governor, ahead of a guy who appointed his daughter to his Senate seat, and a guy currently embroiled in a coin-dealing scandal. His approval number is lower than that of Schwarzenegger (35%) and Blanco of Louisiana (36%), and WAY lower than the previously troubled Christine Gregoire of Washington, currently riding fairly high at 48%. His disapproval numbers are not at all good either, but they're a little better than the schlubs I just mentioned--something I'll call the "Meh" Effect: being seen as ineffectual and bland doesn't make you hated, at least.

Is Ted in trouble? Not in May, probably; it will be a major upset if Hill or Sorenson somehow manage to take him down. That battle, in fact, is what is driving most of his decline: among Democrats, Kulo is off a full 20% from September 05, while only losing five and six points among Republicans and indies, respectively, in the same period. And actually, among R's Ted is UP four points from a low-water mark of 22% approval in February. Given these figures, where Democratic discontent is driving his disapproval, I expect winning the primary will resign OR lefties to backing The Ted again. (I'll spare you all a repeat of my analysis as to why Westlund is at best an equal threat to both sides if he makes the ballot).

Bad news in April? You bet. Bad news for May or November? Right now, I sincerely doubt it.