Friday, June 24, 2011

overstated conclusion of the day

UPDATE: oops, i mixed up my + and - with malloy from connecticut. d'oh! thanks for pointing that out in the comments CaTHY! it doesn't change my already shaky conclusion, but i did have to rewrite a bit of this post.

the chart of the day at TPM documents how the new GOP governors all seem to be tanking in the polls.

what an awesome chart! it tells me just what i want to hear, that people might be fooled into voting for the republicans but hate it when they see how they actually govern.

except that the chart doesn't necessarily say that. it could be that politicians' support usually erodes once they transition from candidate to office-holder, especially when the economy continues to suck after they take office.

i was curious which interpretation is right, so i tried to look up the approval ratings of the 7 democratic governors who were newly elected in 2010 to see if they do any better or worse. that way i could untangle whether people really hate the GOP or just hate incumbents in this economy. for consistency sake (and to make it easier for me), i'm using TPM's own collected polling data.

CO (hickenlooper): 52.0% approval-2/6/11 PPP (pre-election: 51% (10/31/10 PPP)) [+1%]

CT (malloy): 38.0% approval-6/13/11 quinnipiac (pre-election: 46.0% (10/31/10 quinnipiac)) [+8% -8%]

HI (abercrombie): 48.0% approval-3/27/11 PPP (pre-election: 49.5% (10/23/10 merriman)) [-1.5%]

MN (dayton): 42.0% approval-6/17/11 survey USA (pre-election: 43.0% (10/29/10 PPP)) [-1%]

NY (cuomo): 61.0% approval-5/30/11 quinnipiac (pre-election: 56.2% (10/31/10 YouGov)) [+4.8%]

OR (kitzhaber): no post-election polls (pre-election:46.0% (10/31/10 DH&M)) [n/a]

VT (shumlin): no post election polls (pre-election: 53.0% (10/31/10 rasmussen)) [n/a]

although there is not enough data to tell for kitzhaber and shumlin, none of the 5 dems for which there is post-election polling numbers can be said to be "tanking". 2 of the 5 had their approval rating go up since they entered office and two of the governors that suffered a loss of approval, that loss was 1.5% or less, which is within the margin of error and thus might not exist at all.

only one dem governor showed any significant loss of popularity, and that was connecticut governor malloy. but the worst loss for the dems (malloy) is comparable to the best of the GOP group. (AZ gov brewer).

overstated conclusion from paltry data: it's not just anti-incumbency in a bad economy. people hate being governed by republicans. unfortunately, voters are sometimes fooled into voting for them before realizing just how shitty they are.