-The health care debate seems to have taken a serious toll on Claire McCaskill's approval ratings. 38% of voters in the state say they like the job she's doing while 51% disapprove. The key finding- 85% of folks who oppose the health care bill passed last week disapprove of McCaskill. That's an indication that feelings about the bill and feelings about McCaskill have become practically one and the same.
Potential 2012 McCaskill opponent Jim Talent is viewed favorably by 38% of voters in the state while 32% see him unfavorably. 30% have no opinion about him, a reminder about how quickly politicians can be forgotten once they're out of the public eye.
It's a good thing for McCaskill that she's not up for reelection this year but considering this may be somewhat of a low point for Democrats I'm not sure these numbers are worth panicking over yet. But clearly McCaskill is likely to have a tough fight for reelection, and Talent/McCaskill pt. 2 might be just as close as the first time.
-There's a lot of ambivalence toward Jay Nixon but that's somewhat of a victory in a time when voters are not very high on politicians. 37% of voters approve of him, 29% disapprove, and 34% aren't sure. Nixon is the only big state Governor (one with more than 10 electoral votes) that we've found with a positive approval rating so far in 2010.
The early Republican front runner to take on Nixon in 2012, Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder, is a blank slate to most Missourians. 60% of voters have no opinion about him with 22% seeing him favorably and 18% unfavorably. It's way too early to make a guess at how a Nixon/Kinder contest might play out.
-Kit Bond's approval rating is 44% with 35% of voters disapproving of him. 18 months ago those seemed like mediocre numbers, and that may have played some role in Bond's decision not to seek reelection. Now those are a good deal above what we're finding for the average Senator. Given the fact that Roy Blunt is ahead of Robin Carnahan with personal favorability numbers that are considerably inferior to those of Bond, it seems like a safe bet that he would have been reelected had he chosen to make another run. But that's elementary at this point.
Full results here