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About that other poll

Thursday, Oct 30, 2008

* From Sneed

The numbers game: Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s favorability rating may be sinking, but a new poll shows it ain’t as bad as the Chicago Tribune reported.

• • To wit: Although a recent Trib poll claims Blago’s popularity has sunk to 13 percent, a new poll by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch pegs it at 32 percent.

I’m so happy that the governor’s people got somebody to write about that poll. They’ve been bugging me for a couple of days.

* But here’s the problem with the poll: It has consistently given Blagojevich higher job approval ratings than any other survey. The Tribune wasn’t the only other poll that showed Blagojevich’s numbers were low.

A recent poll commissioned by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute had the governor’s job approval rating at 9.4 percent, far below the Tribune’s rating…

* Rasmussen’s latest poll had Blagojevich with an “excellent” job rating of zero and a “good” rating of 4.

* The Glengariff Group’s September poll had the governor’s approval rating at 23 percent, with almost 63 percent disapproving.

* That disapproval number is the key here.

The Post-Dispatch poll had Blagojevich’s disapproval rating at 66 percent, a number not mentioned by our friend at the Sun-Times. That’s horrible no matter what the approval rating is. The Tribune had his disapproval at 71 percent. Rasmussen’s disapproval rating was 65 percent. The PSI poll had a “poor” rating of 61 percent. And, as mentioned above, Glengariff’s disapproval rating was 63 percent.

So, the disapproval numbers are all pretty much the same. And they are all bad for the governor.

* But, what’s going on with the different approval ratings? The Post-Dispatch pollster offered an explanation

The Research 2000 poll has historically ranked Blagojevich’s favorability higher than most others. Pollster Del Ali speculated that may be in part because his poll asks respondents to choose among several categories of negative and positive approval, which may prompt more nuance in the answers.

Maybe so. One of other pollsters, Rasmussen, includes “fair” in the job approval rating. That option allows respondents to cop out. Blagojevich’s disapproval or approval ratings could be higher than reported.

Still, when one pollster consistently shows widely different results on a question than other pollsters, you gotta figure he’s an outllier.

* This is also important: The Post-Dispatch poll has, like other polling, showed a downward trend for Blagojevich during the past several months. He’s down two points since Research 2000’s September survey, and ten points from January. So, whatever the case with the approval/disapproval numbers, even that poll shows a tanking chief executive.

* One final point.

Both the Tribune and Rasmussen had lower ratings for Blagojevich than for President Bush. The Simon poll didn’t test Bush’s numbers. The Post-Dispatch’s pollster tried to use those Bush numbers to undermine the other polling

Ali also questioned the lowest rankings of some other polls. “I find it hard to believe a Democrat in a Democratic state would be less popular than (President) George Bush,” he said.

Rhodes is right

But Ali overlooks the fact that Bush surely still has some stalwart supporters among the state’s Republicans, while folks in both parties seem to hate the governor. After all, the stalemate in Springfield is between Democrats.

And so is Larry

[Del Ali’s comment was] one of the most clueless statements about Illinois politics I’ve seen in some time



- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - wordslinger - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 10:33 am:

    Cold comfort when you have to pitch a story that only 66% of the electorate think you stink rather than 71%.

    Reminds me of the Henny Youngman joke:

    “I went to the doctor. He said I had six months to live. Charged me $500. I didn’t have the $500, so he gave me another six months.”

  2. - Leroy - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 10:34 am:

    It would be interesting to see how Joe SixPack articulates why he thinks the governor is doing a poor job, or if he is just saying it because everyone else is.

    Some people hate the governor because he is a Democrat, some hate him because he is from Chicago, some hate him because he refuses to raise taxes, and some hate him because everyone else hates him.

  3. - Vote Quimby! - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 10:39 am:

    Has anyone ran Del Ali’s name through the FOB donor fund?

  4. - Jaded - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 10:41 am:

    Any way you slice it up Leroy, that is an awful lot of hate. It would be more intersting to hear those who think he is doing a good job defend that position.

  5. - Secret Square - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 10:46 am:

    And some hate him because he’s playing games with their livelihoods and even their physical safety. But that’s another story.

  6. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 10:48 am:

    Let’s try to tone it down a little. “Hate” is an awfully harsh word.


  7. - Helpless - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 10:50 am:

    Polls mean nothing. Lets get to November 4th, and that will give us real number.

  8. - Heartless Libertarian - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 10:50 am:

    Leroy, what a bunch of crap. People hate the governor because he is a say everything, do nothing, blame the other guy sociopath. Why does the general assembly hate him? Because he doesn’t talk to them and he just expect them do what he says. You do have your usual people who will hate a gov just because he is from Chicago or a democrat, but in this state? Those people make up 5% of the 70% disapproval rating. People see Blago on the news, and they just ask themselves, “What in the world is wrong with this guy?”

  9. - Heartless Libertarian - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 10:51 am:

    *stricten hate from the record, replace with “don’t like.”

  10. - Tom B. - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 10:52 am:

    Dude, when you’re juiced about a 32% approval, you’re down in the dumps.

  11. - Greg - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 10:53 am:

    The governor’s office should attack the breadth of these polls. If the polls were nationwide, instead of only Illinois, bad name id would send Blago’s disapproval rating plummeting!

  12. - lincolnlover - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 10:56 am:

    Hate is a very harsh word and it has taken me a long time to use it against this man. He is recklessly playing with people’s lives for his own political motives. What he has done to social services, historic sites, parks and Pontiac Prison is a crime, at best. At worst, it is an extortion move to squeeze money from the GA. The thousands of people, workers and those who receive the services are paying the price. THAT is why I hate him and THAT is why I am working for impeachment.

  13. - Vote Quimby! - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 10:56 am:

    Some people *don’t like* him so much they’ve elected him governor twice!

  14. - Bill - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 11:00 am:

    ==I am working for impeachment. ==
    Whooaaa, I bet that strikes fear in Rod’s heart.
    Bring it on!

  15. - John Ghrist - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 11:04 am:

    It is not surprising that the gov’s popularity is down. Everything he does angers or polarizes people from closing state parks to other stupid ideas like relocating state employees. The fact that he cannot work with people from his own party to get things done in Springfield makes the state look like it’s run by a bunch of inept leaders. The citizens of this state won’t forget about those expensive helicopter flights so the gov could be home for dinner at night. If he did not plan to live in Springfield, why did he ever want to run for governor? The man puts his own political practices ahead of what’s right for the state. Every decision he makes probably has some sort of backroom dealing connected to it. If someone doesn’t cooperate with his policies, the present governor tries to find some way of closing something in that person’s district. I have written before about how the governor messed up my state career and life. My mailbox and answering machine is filled with worthless political junk mail and annoying phone calls everyday from self-serving people like the governor. I have never met an honest politician and don’t think they exist. Fitz, make room for the present gov in some posh jail somewhere right next to the previous one. Most people in this state including myself are tired of dirty politics and ones who think they are too smart to work in the system.

  16. - archpundit - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 11:05 am:

    For some context, the Research 2000 polls in Missouri have given Matt Blunt significantly higher approval ratings on average. They are very similar to other polls on other questions, but for some reason they have higher approval numbers.

    Having looked through the questions I have never seen anything that is a dead giveaway about why, but I think it’s safe to say Research 2000 House Effect on Approval Ratings has a positive bump usually.

    Also, for the record, I say really stupid things all of the time–Ali is a good pollster, it was just a really stupid thing to say.

  17. - archpundit - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 11:07 am:

    ===The governor’s office should attack the breadth of these polls. If the polls were nationwide, instead of only Illinois, bad name id would send Blago’s disapproval rating plummeting!

    Thanks for giving them the idea ;)

  18. - Truth - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 11:26 am:

    The Governor’s poll numbers are terrible because he is done. Let’s try to save the energy that’s being expended on hatred because he’s not worth it. It’ll be over soon enough.

    We have only to wait for the final chapter on Rod’s dismal legacy as Governor.

    Bill’s over the top, anonymous advocacy notwithstanding, Rod is not going to be in public life for much longer. Fitz will make sure of it.

  19. - Bill - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 11:36 am:

    we’ll see about that, Truthie!

  20. - Say WHAT? - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 12:18 pm:

    A 13% is actually higher than I would have guessed. They should settle for that and be thankful it isn’t -13.

  21. - Leroy - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 12:36 pm:

    Why dress it up, Rich? The venom I have seen here for the last 2-2.5 years cannot be described as anything other than pure hatred. Anyone who has tried to defend the man, or at least give him a fair shake has been instantly ridiculed. You want to talk about ‘harsh’? Heh…..

    If ‘hate’ makes you squirm, fine….’disapprove’ then.

  22. - DOMER - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 1:03 pm:

    Name one Governor in the US with approval rating over 50 percent. Last I looked there wasnt one. Dem or Repub.

  23. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 1:10 pm:

    ===Name one Governor in the US with approval rating over 50 percent. Last I looked there wasnt one. Dem or Repub.===

    Sarah Palin, for starters.

  24. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 1:14 pm:

    Also, DOMER, try looking things up before speaking. Go here and you’ll see a whole lot of governors have approval ratings over 50.

    Chet Culver, Kathleen Sebelius, Steve Beshear, Deval Patrick, Tim Pawlenty and Bill Richardson, to name just a few.

    Don’t be a goofball, please. The Internets and the Google are very easy tools to use.

  25. - BIG R.PH. - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 1:23 pm:

    Too bad we don’t have Parliamentary Government and we could call for elections and get rid of Blagoof!

  26. - DOMER - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 9:20 pm:

    I stand corrected. You are right. I had heard that statistic on a radio program. I either misheard the context or they were wrong. I should have looked it up myself.

    According to the website you referenced, 22 Governors have an approval rating above 50%. Still less than have. And they have Blagojevichs approval rating at 36%. Not great, but also not 13%.

  27. - archpundit - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 10:41 pm:

    36% was in 2005. That wasn’t even the last poll they did.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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