Riley Approval at 50%
Though these numbers are an improvement on his pre-Katrina standing, the immediate post-Katrina bump he had looks to be all but gone.
Since Riley's first order of business will be to get past Roy Moore in the June primary, the more important numbers will be his standing among Republican voters. Thankfully, Survey USA provides the internals of their new poll.
Here's the breakdown of Riley's approval ratings by party:
So while Riley's approval ratings among the electorate as a whole is a bit precarious, he does have a healthy 2 to 1 approval rating among Republicans.
Of course the 30% disapproval rating of members of Riley's own party does give an opponent like Moore a significant base from which to mount a campaign. Many incumbents can command near universal approval among members of their own party, even if they aren't widely popular across the board.
For example Minnesota's Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty has the exact same approval ratings as Bob Riley (50/45) but Pawlenty has an impressive 81% approval rating among Republicans. I use this comparison to show that while Riley's 66% approval among Republicans seems solid at first blush, it also demonstrates that he has some work to do to emerge from the GOP primary.
Since SurveyUSA will release a new poll every month, it'll be very interesting to see the fluctuations of Riley's overall numbers but also to keep an eye on his standing within his own party.