Thursday, May 6, 2010

Beshear sports weak numbers

Steve Beshear's going to have to change the way Kentucky voters feel about him over the next year and a half if he wants to win reelection as Governor. Right now 44% say they would vote for his eventual Republican opponent while just 35% say they'd support him for a second term.

Beshear's biggest problem is a lack of support from within his own party. Republicans say they would vote to replace him 70-9 and independents do 45-25, but neither of those figures are anything unusual for a Democratic elected official in this political climate. But even voters within his own party only say they'd return him to office by a 58-22 margin, and he'll need to improve on that quite a bit by this time next year.

Beshear's approval numbers are actually better than his numbers for reelection, with Kentucky voters almost evenly divided on him. 38% think he's doing a good job to 39% who disapprove. The problem for him is that while 24% of Republican voters like how he's doing, only that 9% would actually vote to reelect him against their own party's candidate.

It's certainly not time for Beshear to panic. These numbers come at what may be somewhat of a low point for the Democratic Party, and things could be looking considerably sunnier a year and a half from now. And parties frequently have trouble finding a real life candidate who polls as well as a generic candidate, so a lot of Beshear's fate will be decided by who the Republicans put forward.

Nevertheless these poll numbers are an early sign that the Gubernatorial race should be much more competitive than it was in 2007. And I would expect the contest to draw a huge amount of national attention as folks try to divine its meaning in terms of Barack Obama's prospects for reelection the next year. I don't know how representative of the country as a whole Kentucky is, but that won't stop the pundits from reading a lot into whatever happens there.

Full results here


Christian Liberty said...

Yeah, things will be much "sunnier" when state governments have to make more cuts in state government programs, layoff or furlough government employees, cut government wages and benefits, anger government employee unions, or raise unpopular and economically damaging taxes. Remember, state government financial troubles lag those of the federal government (especially when stimulus winds down and state governments are financed by the previous year's tax revenues). The next year and a half will, if anything, only give the left more reason to be unsatisfied with the governor.

The government bubble is bursting just as certainly as the housing bubble burst a few years ago. And those who most rely on government redistribution for their political power (Democrats) will be most vulnerable to the inevitable economic correction.

The party of small business and small government (Republicans) will do just fine. The party of big government and big business (Democrats) will be in serious trouble.

Christian Liberty said...

Governor Beshear threatens shutdown if no budget

AP: "A 2005 Kentucky Supreme Court decision says the only expenditures allowable are those mandated by the Kentucky Constitution, the federal government or state statute.

Beshear says that could mean all state parks, tourism programs, the Cabinet for Economic Development and Office of the Medical Examiner would be shut down, and state-provided mine safety inspections and mine rescue teams would end."

This is the responsible thing to do as chief executive of a struggling state government. But since it is the responsible thing to do, that means the left will absolutely hate it. (witness Greece protests by spoiled "public servants")

Since Democrats get elected by redistributing taxpayer money to political cronies, such as unions, the best interests of the people of Kentucky and of Beshear as governor will inevitably conflict with the traditional election strategy of a Democrat running for re-election. For Democratic governors like Beshear, doing the right thing as governor means pissing off the tax-dependent parasites that form the Democratic party base.

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