Blunt low in governor poll

Wednesday, July 27, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 1:37 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A nationwide poll shows that Gov. Matt Blunt has the third-lowest approval rating among the nation’s 50 governors.

Blunt tied with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for 47th place in the July poll, conducted by Survey USA in New York City. The survey shows that Blunt has an approval rating of 35 percent and a disapproval rating of 60 percent.

Survey USA questioned by telephone 600 adults of voting age in each state from July 8 to 10, according to its Web site. Blunt’s approval rating was two percentage points higher than his May rating and was unchanged from June. The margin of error for the Missouri poll was plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Spence Jackson, a spokesman for Blunt, would not comment directly on the survey, but said that the governor’s office is recovering from mismanagement under former Democratic Gov. Bob Holden.

“We came into office facing a $1.1 billion deficit,” Jackson said. “The administration here before withheld funds from public schools, was unresponsive to the needs of Missourians.”

Jackson added that Blunt is not focused on the individual results of every survey.

“There are a lot of numbers floating out there,” Jackson said.

Jack Cardetti, spokesman for the Missouri Democratic Party, said the survey reflects Blunt’s failure to serve his constituency.

“All too often, Matt Blunt has fallen in the trap of what’s politically expedient instead of what’s good for the people,” Cadetti said. “He has put our state up for sale to the highest bidder.”

Cardetti cited Blunt’s appointment of Randa Hayes as director of Missouri’s Division of Business Development and Trade and the influence the insurance industry exerted in the nomination of Dale Finke to direct the Missouri Department of Insurance. Hayes resigned this month after her 1998 conviction for misdemeanor theft in Illinois came to light.Cardetti dismissed the notion that Blunt inherited a difficult situation from Holden.

“That’s simply passing the buck,” Cardetti said.

Connecticut Gov. Jodi Rell received the highest rating in the survey, with a 73 percent approval rating. Ohio Gov. Bob Taft was lowest on the list: 17 percent of respondents approved his performance and 76 percent disapproved.

Survey USA said on its Web site that survey respondents match the demographic breakdown of each state.

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