Another poll shows dismal approval ratings for Gov. Jan Brewer. This time, pollsters contrasted her performance, as judged by Arizona residents, with those of former governors Janet Napolitano and Jane Hull.
And, if the approval/disapproval ratings of former governors can be used as a benchmark, Brewer has a lot to worry about heading into 2010.
Only 22 percent of the 800 people interviewed for the latest Rocky Mountain Poll (conducted Sept. 9-18 by the Behavior Research Center) said they approve of Brewer’s performance. That’s down from 24 percent approval in May when a similar poll was conducted.
At the same time, the percentage of voters who disapprove of her performance went up by two percent. Twenty-eight percent rated her performance as “poor,” compared to 26 percent in May.
Both of the figures above fall within the margin of error for the poll, so maybe they don’t mean much. And there is still the murky designation of “fair,” which 30 percent of voters used to rate Brewer (it was 32 percent in May).
But there is something that has changed signicantly, and it could hurt Brewer in the primary unless the trend changes.
Republicans who took part in the latest poll were far more negative about her performance than they were four months ago. Now, 27 percent of GOP respondents said they disapprove of Brewer, compared to 18 percent who disapproved in May. That 9 percent difference is a big deal, whether or not the other numbers have meaning.
Likely voters in Maricopa County were the most critical toward the governor – 32 percent negative to 24 percent favorable. Her reviews are also slipped in Rural Arizona – 18 percent favorable to 24 percent negative.
As was mentioned above, Brewer’s ratings are dismal compared to her predecessors. A media release that was distributed along with the poll figures states, “Voter assessment of the Governor remain significantly lower than those of her two predecessors, Janet Napolitano and Jane Hull, clear evidence that her struggles with GOP lawmakers over taxes and the 2010 budget have had an enduring impact.”
Here are the actual results and the exact wording of the question regarding Brewer’s performance that was asked during the survey:
“Next, I’d like to read you the names of some public officials. As I read each one, please just
tell me if you think the job they are doing in office is excellent, good, fair, poor or very
EARLY JOB RATINGS FOR ARIZONA GOVERNORS
Excellent/Good Fair Poor/Very Poor (Net Pos to Neg)
Jan Brewer – Sept 2009 22% 30% 28% (-6)
– May 2009 24% 32% 26% (-2)
Janet Napolitano – Oct 2003 46% 30% 16% (+30)
-April 2003 49% 24% 10% (+39)
Jane Hull – Jan 1998 56% 20% 3% (+53)
– Oct 1997 45% 20% 4% (+41)
CURRENT READINGS FOR GOVERNOR JAN BREWER
Total population 22% 20% 28% (-6)
Registered voters only 24% 28% 31% (-7)
Republicans 30% 28% 27% (+3)
Independents 16% 26% 38% (-22)
Democrats 24% 30% 31% (-7)
Maricopa 24% 28% 32% (-8)
Pima 23% 30% 19% (+4)
Rural 18% 34% 24% (-6)
To see the full results of this and other polls by the Behavior Research Center, go to www.brcpolls.com.