Sunday, November 15, 2009

Perdue back up to 30

For the first time since June Bev Perdue's approval rating is out of the 20s. 30% of North Carolinians express support for her work this month with 49% disapproving and 22% unsure.

The positive movement for Perdue is largely a result of the Democratic base warming back up to her a little bit. Where last month more voters within her party disapproved than approved of her work, now 46% give her good marks with only 32% disapproving. She continues to suffer from pretty paltry ratings with independents and Republicans though- 24 and 11% approval respectively.

Perdue has consistently received better marks in the Triangle than the rest of the state. While part of that can be attributed to the region being more Democratic the difference is so large it can't be traced to that alone. She has 41% approval here compared to 22-32% everywhere else. This could be chalked up to Perdue's being much more visible here, particularly on the tv news, and that the more people see her the more likely they are to really think she's attuned to the state's problems. Improving visibility in the rest of the state could go a long way toward bringing up Perdue's overall numbers.

There are also some indications in this month's findings that while Perdue is certainly in a difficult place, the hole is not too large to climb out of. Asked to assign her a letter grade the most common response, from 28% of respondents, was to give Perdue a 'C.' That's an indication there is a lot of ambiguity in voters' feelings toward Perdue and that while they lean toward disapproving of her right now getting their support back over the next three years is not an impossibility.

Only 35% of voters give her a D or F, suggesting they're gone forever, compared to 40% who rate Barack Obama that poorly. It is certainly true that few voters love Perdue- just 15% giving her A's as opposed to 32% who do the same for Obama- but you don't necessarily have to be loved to be reelected.

There's not much doubt if Perdue had to stand for reelection today she'd be toast. The first year has not been particularly successful in the court of public opinion. But she's not 'done for,' so long as she can learn lessons from the difficulties so far and use that experience to do things different in the future. Whether she's capable of that kind of adaptation remains to be seen.

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