Bev Perdue's approval rating is on the rise! Of course when it was 25% a month ago that's not saying much. 27% of voters in the state now express support for her job performance with 52% disapproving.
Perdue has made gains with Democrats and independents over the last four weeks. Where her approval in her own party had dropped to a negative 38/40 spread in July, it's now up to 42/36. And while she's still pretty unpopular with independents, 27/50 is better than 20/58. Her efforts to reduce cuts to public education and to avoid income tax increases on the general population may have helped to reingratiate herself with the base at least a little bit. Her 9% approval rating among Republicans is unchanged from a month ago.
Perdue doesn't inspire reactions nearly as strong as those toward Barack Obama among voters in the state. Asked to grade Perdue on a scale of 1 to 9 only 27% of respondents gave her the highest or lowest grade, compared to 49% for Obama. And 38% gave her something between 4 and 6, right in the middle, compared to just 19% for Obama. Her average score is 4.35, a little more than half a point worse than the President who came in at 4.97.
Voters in the poll gave Perdue weak reviews on a couple of key leadership measures. Just 30% consider her to be a 'decisive' leader, not surprising after her 'different day, different message' handling of the budget and only 43% think that she has strong principles. Asked whether they thought Perdue or the legislature had shown stronger leadership on the budget 57% picked the legislature, a somewhat remarkable finding given the low esteem in which people to tend hold legislative bodies be they in Washington DC or their state capitals.
Perdue has gotten some good reviews from insiders for her first seven months in office but the reaction of the broader public has been about as negative as possible. Now that this first disastrous budget cycle is in the rear view mirror, she has an opportunity to basically restart her administration and do things differently for the next three years and change. Continuing on the same course of this first part of her term will keep her from being able to govern effectively in addition to the obvious outcome of not being reelected. Her ability to regroup, pursue a more clear agenda, and project a stronger image of leadership in the coming months will likely determine whether her time as Governor is ultimately a success or not.
Full results here