Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Holy Cow!

Ksapproval0506-ViWhen our Cubbies did something spectacular, the immortal Harry Caray would exclaim, "Holy cow!" That's about how I feel about this month's SurveyUSA 50 State tracking poll of Presidential approval. Kansas went from being the 8th most approving state to the 22nd. As you can see, the jump in the last month amounted to a -19% shift in net approval.

The shift is almost entirely in Republicans (shifts of net approval are within the margin of error for Democrats and Independents), and is concentrated in self-identified moderates, though there was a significant drop among conservatives, too. Liberals didn't like him before and don't like him now. Indeed, liberal approval ticked up, though within the margin of error.

The shift was dramatic in western Kansas, which went from net approval of 12% last month to net disapproval (-19% approval) this month, for a shift of 31%. Wichita is unchanged, and eastern Kansas went from -10% net approval to -33% net approval.

Approval among men went from tied (1% approval) to intensely negative (-24% approval), while women went from -12% to -26% approval.

These results can't just be bad sampling, since they are widespread across the state and across the political spectrum. Whites went from -1% approval to -22%, blacks went 5 more points into disapproval, and hispanics went from 17% disapproval to an even 40% disapproval. At only 6% of the population, Hispanic sentiment is not what's driving this swing.

The third of Kansans who attend church only occasionally increased their disapproval by only 4%, while the 40% who attend regularly have switched from 14% approval to -5% approval. "Pro-life" respondents went from 17% approval to tied, while the pro-choice went from 34% disapproval to 53% disapproval.

The times, they are a-changin'. Elections in Kansas are decided by moderates and independents, and infrequent churchgoers are a target audience for political advertising. As the churches turn against the President, expect to see the battle between arch-conservatives and moderate Republicans to heat up, as the frustrated right-wing seeks to consolidate power to effect the changes their own golden boy can't implement.

I'd bet money that this shift has largely been driven by the mess the Republican party has gotten itself into with immigration. They promised more than they could deliver on that and a host of issues, and chickens are looking for roosting sites.

Update: Thanks to Mark Nutter for noticing that I screwed up the coloring on the previous version of the graph. It had shown approval going up, when it's actually gone down.