Is the Big Lug in big trouble?

(Worth keeping an eye on. - promoted by desmoinesdem)

There's a batch of poll data out from SurveyUSA, and it's bad news for the Big Lug.

Governor Culver doesn't break even in the poll of 600 adults. 47% of voters surveyed said they disapprove of Gov. Culver's performance as governor, with 46% approving, and 7% not sure. 

What's particularly troubling is that Culver only has support from 59% of Democrats surveyed and 41% of self-identified independents. 

Seperate polls found that Sen. Grassley edges out Sen. Harkin as the state's most popular politician. Grassley carried a 71% approval rate, with Harkin ten points behind at 61%. One interesting fact from that set of polling: Grassley has a 66% approval rating among Democrats. 

  • approval below 50 percent is always worrying

    On the other hand, Bush’s approval dipped below 50 percent before he was re-elected in 2004.

    Also, let’s see who the Republicans put up against him. Like they say, you can’t beat something with nothing. I would put money on most of those Democrats coming home to vote for Culver in 2010 even if they tell pollsters how that they don’t approve of the job he is doing.

    It will be interesting to see whether other polls confirm these numbers. Presumably Culver’s campaign committee is conducting internal polls as well.

    • I think a big concern with the low rating amongst the Democrats

      would be fundraising. If the Governor is having trouble making friends in his own party– and there are some signs that he is– I think fundraising could lag a bit in 2010. He seems to have done a decent job pulling in money the last two years, but I recall him burning a lot of cash, too. If the enthusiasm for him in the IDP drops much more, folks might send their dollars elsewhere.

    • "Job Approval..."

      numbers are, I think, oftentimes mis-leading.  You’re right on, dsm dem, when you say Culver can probably count on “most of those Democrats coming home to vote for [him] in 2010 even if they tell pollsters now that they don’t approve of the job he is doing.”

      I can’t imagine that I’d vote for any Republican over Culver in 2010, but I haven’t been overly impressed with him over the past two years, and sometimes I’ve been downright disappointed.  If a pollster caught me at a particularly snarky moment (or right when I’m trying to put dinner on the table) I might very well express my disapproval of Culver’s job performance.

      I agree that Culver has some work to do, but unless the political climate in Iowa shifts significantly over the next year AND the Republicans recruit a bang-up candidate to run against him, I don’t think these numbers are as troubling as they might suggest.

      • Independents

        I don’t know. I think desmoinesdem is right that most Democrats will eventually land on Culver, but to me, that’s not the most troubling number. It’s that he’s so far behind the curve with independents that bothers me.

        I think it’s an open question at this point whether this polling reflects the fact that Culver’s had a rough year so far–or a real weakness going into 2010.

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