Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

The Alfred E. Neuman Approach to Low Approval Ratings

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

The Alfred E. Neuman Approach to Low Approval Ratings

Article excerpt

In January of 2010, a SurveyUSA poll of Kansans was released which showed then-Gov. Mark Parkinson at 42 percent approval and 43 percent disapproval for a job approval rating of -1. The then-Chair of the Republican Party, Amanda Atkins, issued a press release saying, "These numbers are startling," and that "the message couldn't be clearer" that Kansans opposed Gov. Parkinson's agenda.

What might any GOP chair have said if Parkinson's numbers were 25 percent approval and 69 percent disapproval for a job approval rating of -44? After recovering from a straight-out faint, it likely would have been something along the lines of suggesting that a popular revolt might be in order.

The -44 job approval number actually belongs to current Gov. Sam Brownback, according to a SurveyUSA poll released last week. But it's not just this one poll that shows him so far below water.

An average of the seven 2016 polls that have surveyed Kansans about Brownback revealed 22.7 percent approval and 69.6 percent disapproval, for a net job approval rating of -46.9. These numbers represent the lowest job approval scores of any Kansas governor since regular polling began in 2005. To put the results in context, the lowest job approval Parkinson ever received in any given poll was -9, while the lowest for former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius was -4.

The governor's office issued a statement last Tuesday to KSNT News about the recent results, saying, "Kansas is not immune to the anti-incumbency sentiment sweeping the country." This statement seems to imply that the governor does not believe he is truly unpopular, or that any of his policies are unpopular, but rather that Kansans are currently swept up in a national mood in which they lose the ability to rationally assess the merits of their own governor. In short, Brownback is reversing the classic George Costanza line from the "Seinfeld" TV show by saying to Kansans, "It's not me, it's you. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.