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Alabama Elections Directory 2006

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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Riley Approval at 50%

In what has become a monthly exercise, SurveyUSA has released its October Governor's ratings. Bob Riley clocks in with a job approval rating right at 50% with 45% disapproving of his performance.

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:

Approve/ Disapprove
GOP: 66/31
DEM: 38/57
IND: 46/50


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.

15 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The real story is that Riley's approval rating is up 10% in just the last month. Go back and look at the last poll this same outfit did. They had him at 40% just one month ago.

10:46:00 AM  
Blogger PoliSciZac said...

No actually Survey USA had Riley at a 49% approval rating last month. His disapproval did drop from 48% to 45% though.

You can see the monthly tracking here..
http://www.surveyusa.com/client/PollTrack.aspx?g=8cff2ad1-8645-4f49-b1ae-f329b62c6bcd

10:56:00 AM  
Blogger Collin said...

Anybody making it to T-Town for the Roy Moore speech today? I have to work, so if anybody makes it give us a good blog!

12:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From AlabamaElections:

Friday, October 07, 2005
New Polling on Guv Candidates

Survey USA has a new poll gauging the favorability of all four of the major gubernatorial candidates.

The question is worded, "What is your opinion of Candidate X?". And the possible responses are favorable, unfavorable, neutral, or unfamiliar.

Below are the results:

Bob Riley(R):

40% Favorable
37% Unfavorable
20% Neutral
2% Unfamiliar

Now, you may say, "Well this is different than approval. It's favorability." Does the public really differentiate between whether they "approve" of a politican or whether they find him or her "favorable"? I think not. They're the same thing. So Riley's "approval/favorability" rating has gone up 10% in one month. Just like I said.

11:27:00 PM  
Blogger PoliSciZac said...

Thats a fair argument. It does get a little dicey when you compare different measures, but like you said I don't think favorability and approval is a very large distinction.

But the monthly polls have the exact same wording and methodology so they are a little easier to compare. And in those Riley's numbers didn't move much.

But you make a good point about the other poll.

1:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the bottom line is that, for incumbents, their numbers don't tend to increase in a campaign. They normally start out at a certain point and then are slowly chipped away by the negative campaigning of challengers.

I think these numbers are going to be the best Riley will see-- especially if Harry Anne Smith runs. After a couple months of her campaigning around the state, Riley's numbers will probably dive into the 30s.

Moore's numbers represent his base so it won't decrease.

9:49:00 PM  
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