Thursday, July 22, 2010

Vilsack, Napolitano numbers weak

Tom Vilsack clearly isn't having a very good week, and even before this his home state poll numbers left something to be desired. When we polled Iowa in late May only 37% of voters in the state said they had a favorable opinion of Vilsack while 36% rated him unfavorably, and just four years out of office 27% said they had no opinion- a good reminder of how quickly politicians can be forgotten or at least become points of ambivalence.

At that point Democrats saw Vilsack favorably by a 63/16 margin, Republicans rated him unfavorably 13/57, and independents were pretty evenly divided but slightly positive 36/34.

Vilsack's less than impressive numbers on the home front could speak to a broader problem for Obama appointees who may some day want to run for office again. Our last Arizona poll found Janet Napolitano's favorability at 41/48. You could write that off as a product of bad press for Homeland Security following the Christmas Day incident in Detroit, but even before that last September we had her at an almost equally bad 44/47.

Both those sets of numbers were quite a drop from August of 2008 when we found her approval rating with Arizona voters at 54% with only 37% disapproving of her. A deeper look at Napolitano's numbers is interesting. Her favorability with Democrats now is 78%, just as her approval was two years ago. But her association with the Obama administration has turned her numbers with independents from a positive 59/31 to a negative 39/45. And her one time 32% approval with Republicans is now just 15% favorability.

Serving in Obama's cabinet has not done much for Vilsack or Napolitano's popularity back home, and that could be a problem for either of them in a potential future Senate campaign. Of course that's just based on where Obama is now and by the time they get around to running for something again their service in his administration could be an asset rather than a liability. I'd be interested to see where other former electeds in the administration like Kathleen Sebelius, Ken Salazar, and Gary Locke are in their home states as well.


Carolina Dem said...

Is it safe to say that Sec. Clinton is the most popular member of the Cabinet?

Tom Jensen said...

I don't know if she's quite as beloved by the American public as Rahm Emanuel but most likely!

Anonymous said...

Rahm Emanuel? "...beloved by the American public..."? Are you kidding? I had to read that comment twice just to make sure that you were actually being serious. Where, may I ask, did you come up with such a ridiculous notion? Are you going comedic on us there Tom? That's laughable, to say the least. And yes, I do believe that Hillary is now more popular than Obama and any other member of his Cabinet - and I think in a landslide. Do your own poll. It might be rather interesting.

Tom Jensen said...

I was being facetious, as I figured would be obvious.

Anonymous said...

Facetious you say Tom? Actually I feel a bit relieved to know that you haven't, of yet, totally lost it. But Lately you've been saying some of the most audacious things - that its become rather difficult to differentiate between what you seemingly perceive as being plausible and that to which you are simply being (uncharacteristically) light hearted about. I nonetheless apologize for underestimating your sense of humor. Next time I'll try to give you a little more latitude in these matters.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone see the 7/21 Gallup poll, showing Bill Clinton's favorable ratings higher than Barack Obama's, 61% to 52%. Not all is lost for ole Barack though. His favorable rating is still better than Bush's, who came in at 46%. But then again too, Georgie's numbers are growing and in all likelihood will surpass Barack by -say 2012. Maybe even sooner.

Makes me think back to a story that appeared late last Summer, where someone put up a billboard showing a picture of Bush, with a sheepish smile on his face, saying "MISS ME YET?" It would most certainly appear that an awlful lot of folks out there are now saying - if only to themselves - YEP! How funny.

Anonymous said...

While you're on the topic of Obama Administration officials, someday I'd like to see Feinstein retire and be replaced with Hilda Solis.

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