How big an impact is Barack Obama's falling popularity having on this year's election? There are five states we've polled in the last three months where his approval rating is more than 10 points lower than the percentage of the vote he got in the state and all five of them are shaping up pretty badly for Democratic candidates this year:
Iowa: Obama got 54% there in 2008 but his approval rating now stands at 43%. Most polling has suggested Chet Culver will be badly defeated in his reelection bid for Governor and while some pollsters have shown a ray of hope for Roxanne Conlin against Chuck Grassley our numbers do not.
Nevada: Obama got 55% there in 2008 and his approval rating is now 44%. Obama's falling standing in the state has a lot more to do with Harry Reid's precarious situation than usually gets discussed and Democrats have almost no chance in the Governor's race even though the sitting Republican incumbent is among the least popular in the country.
Wisconsin: Obama got 56% there in 2008 and his approval rating is now 45%. That has a lot to do with the fact that Ron Johnson, who no one had heard of six months ago, is running even with Russ Feingold in the Senate race. The GOP is favored, although not overwhelmingly, to take back control of the Governor's mansion.
Michigan: Obama got 57% there in 2008 and his approval rating is now 46%. Democrats are seen as having almost no chance to hold the Governor's office here even though it's a pretty blue state that hasn't voted Republican in a Presidential election since 1988.
Pennsylvania: Obama got 54% there in 2008 and his approval rating is now 43%. It looks very likely that Democrats will lose the Governorship and there's a pretty good chance they'll lose the Senate race too despite the state having gone overwhelmingly Democratic in 2006 and 2008.
Obama won all of these states in 2008 but his unpopularity in them now is a major contributor to the problems Democratic candidates are having in them this year.