[[R A T I N G S]] * Wow. This has got to be some kind of record. A brand-new Zogby poll of Ohio voters finds Republican Governor Bob Taft--who earlier this year was indicted on four criminal misdemeanor counts for failing to report a series of golf outings, meals, and assorted other gifts--with just a 6.5 percent favorability rating. As the Toledo Blade explains, “Barely 3 percent rate his job performance as ‘good’ or ‘excellent.’” Sixty-one percent of respondents say Taft should have resigned in the wake of his convictions.
The only succor that Taft, the great-grandson of President (and later Chief Justice of the United States) William Howard Taft, might find comes from the latest 50-state SurveyUSA poll. Though it, too, ranks him as the least popular governor in the nation, SurveyUSA at least gives second-termer Taft a higher job performance rating: 18 percent. Doing just slightly better are Governors Frank Murkowski (R-Alaska), with 26 percent approval; Ernie Fletcher (R-Kentucky), with 32 percent; Matt Blunt (R-Missouri), with 34 percent; and Kathleen Blanco (D-Louisiana), with 34 percent. The only significant difference between this new Zogby poll on governors and last month’s version is the addition of Blanco to the list, replacing California’s Arnold Schwarzenegger (now with a modestly higher 35 percent rating, which seems odd, given his humiliating defeat during last month’s special election). It seems that GOP efforts to blame Blanco for the Bush administration’s bungled response to Hurricane Katrina in late August are having an effect. Fortunately for her, she doesn’t have to run for re-election until 2007--lots of time to recoup her reputation.