Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Gubernatorial Legacies

Last month we asked kind of a fun question on our big monthly North Carolina poll, looking at who the favorites and least favorites are among the last five Presidents with voters in the state. Ronald Reagan came out as the most popular and George W. Bush as the least.

We'll do the same thing with Governors this month. Until yesterday I thought there would be strong competition between Mike Easley and Bev Perdue for the least popular mantle but I imagine that's pretty firmed up now. I would expect Jim Hunt to get top honors although Jim Martin could give him a run for it assuming NC Republicans, many of whom didn't live here between 1985 and 1993, know who he is.

We're going to do the Senators in July. A year ago at this time I would have put money on Jesse Helms winning both most popular and least popular honors but John Edwards will probably edge him out on the latter front at this point.


Anonymous said...

I don't think you should include Bev, since she's not even had six months in office. Yes, Jim Hunt may get the top nod, mainly because of his 16-years, and because he is The Elder Statesman in N. C. (and he's just now approaching 70). For those of us who came of age in the early '60's, we will always have a fond spot for Terry Sanford: incredible Governor, poor Senator, good University president.

Martin had to face the Democrats, who self-destructed in 1984 when Eddie Knox and Rufus Edminson had a mortal primary fight, causing Eddie to leave the party and vow non-support of Rufus, who then was wiped-out by Martin. Martin (and Helms) also had the good fortune to ride the Reagan jurgenaut in 1984 (the year Helms beat Hunt for the Senate race). Martin then had no trouble dispatching democrat Bob Jordan in 1988.

Martin had constant run-ins with the N&O, even walking into their offices one Saturday to express in writing how fed up he was with their biased reporting. Ah, those were the days.

Brandon said...

I think you SHOULD include Bev, simply because you included Obama in the presidential poll, and it keeps things consistent.

I'm more amused by that presidential poll that I somehow missed. So Reagan, a President who last served in office 20 years ago, edged out Obama? I'm quite surprised...happy...yet surprised. NC is filled w/ transplants that weren't living in the state in 81-89. I understand that Reagan did quite well in NC in '80 and '88, but the notion that a president who has been deceased for 5 years would greatly outpoll a newly elected and popular President, as well as Bill Clinton (who didn't do too shabby in '92 and '96 for a Dem in NC), was a bit surprising. I'm glad to see Reagan's resonance in the tarheel state.

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