It’s budget season and that’s open season on politicians, but after six years on the job, most of which have been taken up by budget cutting, it may be time for DFLers to acknowledge that Tim Pawlenty’s nickname should be be “Teflon Tim.”
Eric Ostermeier, who writes the Smart Politics blog over at the Humphrey Institute has analyzed Pawlenty’s latest approval ratings and pulls out this nugget:
In fact, Pawlenty is one of only three Governors in the 14 states polled by SurveyUSA who currently has an approval rating in excess of the vote received during the state’s last gubernatorial election. And only Virginia’s Democratic Governor Tim Kaine (+5) has a higher net favorability rating vis-à-vis vote percentage than Pawlenty (+4). The average gubernatorial job performance rating across the more than one dozen states polled is 11+ points south of the average election vote tally.
What Ostermeier doesn’t mention in his list, however, is that only Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick had the third party competition (Christy Mihos – 6% of the vote) in the election in 2006 that Pawlenty had from Peter Hutchinson in the same election (6.4%).
In that context, it was actually easier for Pawlenty to have a higher approval rating than on election night than most any other governor.