Republican governors get to work, lose support

REPUBLICAN GOVERNORS GET TO WORK, LOSE SUPPORT…. Following up on an item from the weekend, Republican gubernatorial candidates scored big wins last year in some of the nation’s largest and most competitive states. When the dust settled on the 2010 cycle, the GOP had picked up governors’ offices they had lost in Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

That was last year. This year, those governors have gotten to work advancing a very conservative agenda. It’s obviously still quite early in their respective tenures, but after taking a look at what these GOP governors have in mind, their constituents’ are experiencing an acute case of buyers’ remorse.

A new survey from Public Policy Polling, for example, shows Michigan voters turning on their new Republican governor, Rick Snyder, who turned out to be much more conservative than the state realized.

Snyder actually now has the worst numbers of this new trio of GOP Governors, with only 33% of voters approving of him to 50% who disapprove. And despite his overwhelming victory last fall voters now say that if they could do it over they’d pick Virg Bernero over Snyder by a 47-45 margin. […]

What’s happened to Snyder? What made him such a formidable candidate last fall was incredibly strong support from independents and an unusual amount of crossover appeal to Democrats. Neither of those things has lasted.

That’s what happens when a governor folks thought was a moderate starts pushing a radical agenda.

But the larger point here is that all of these governors are running into the same mainstream opposition.

In Ohio, Gov. John Kasich (R) has seen his support plummet in recent months, a trend bolstered by a new Quinnipiac poll, released this morning, that showed his approval rating down to just 30%.

In Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Corbett (R) — the one who’s desperate to make brutal cuts to education, while increasing spending on prisons — hasn’t exactly impressed his constituents, either. Last week, a statewide poll found only 31% of Pennsylvanians had a positive impression of his job performance.

Polls in Wisconsin have shown widespread opposition to Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) agenda, and if voters had it to do over again, they wish they’d voted for former Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D), who lost to Walker by six points in November.

And while I haven’t seen any polling on Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R), there’s ample evidence he’s managing to offend just about everyone.

Will this prove relevant in 2012? Time will tell, of course, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it does. Republicans scored big wins in 2010, not because the GOP was popular, but because much of the public was dissatisfied with the status quo, and Dems happened to be the dominant majority.

But now those same voters have been reminded exactly why they didn’t like Republicans in the first place.