Riley Approval Skyrockets in Wake of Katrina
SurveyUSA, one of the country's premiere polling firms, has completed another 50 state survey gauging the popularity of each state's governor.
Bob Riley's latest numbers are 58% approval and 37% disapproval. These are solid numbers, but not spectacular in and among themselves. But the real story is that Riley has surged 21% since the last poll taken in mid-August. In fact Riley has seen his numbers increase more than any other governor during the same time period.
This movement has to be almost solely attributed to Hurricane Katrina and Riley's response to it. As we discussed here and here, Riley's handling of the hurricane gave him a chance to lift off (at least temporarily) some of the baggage that has been weighing down his numbers and demonstrate an ability to lead. Riley has certainly made the most of this opportunity.
It is impossible to know if this Riley resurgence is lasting or is simply a rallying reaction of a still shaken public. One thing is for sure though, Bob Riley is in much better political shape than he was a month ago.