A survey for Politico taken last week after the news about Mark Sanford's affair came out still showed his approval rating at 47% with South Carolina voters, a result a good deal better than any of the three polls on Bev Perdue's job performance have found this month.
I think there are a couple takeaways from that:
-Voters are more concerned about the economy than the sex lives of their politicians. And that's a good thing. Although I don't think NC voters are right to blame Perdue for the state's financial woes it's still reassuring to see that's a bigger deal for them than Sanford's personal indiscretions are for SC voters.
-Voters in both parties are hypocrites when it comes to sex scandals. 68% of Republicans in the poll still said they approved of Sanford's job performance- do you think it would have been the same if it was a Democratic politician? At the same time only 22% of Democrats gave Sanford good marks and it's a safe bet most of them would have been willing to give Bill Clinton a free ride for his moral mistakes.
-Speaking more specifically about Perdue, this comparison goes to show just how unpopular she's become- and how important it is for her to make a sustained effort to rebuild her support with the public. Going to half a dozen rallies for education funding and then retreating right back to anonymity probably isn't going to cut it.