Dennis Daugaard is just about the nicest guy you will ever meet. South Dakota has its share of nice politicians, but this one tops them in my book. (Isn’t there a Twitter person going by Denny Do-good?)
So when I ask if the governor’s 60% job approval rating in a recent poll is really all that high, I’m not asking if Denny is likeable. He most certainly is. So is Barack Obama, but that hasn’t helped his job approval ratings of late, either.
I remember Mike Rounds scoring an off-the-charts 75 or something, the highest approval rating in all the land. John Thune got re-elected to Congress a few times by that very comfortable margin.
And while many a politician would give a year’s worth of campaign contributions to get even close to 60%, the number struck me as low for a Republican on the Second Floor in his first year.
So I wonder aloud if anyone else had the same reaction.
Could it be the budget cuts? I know I winced when nobody blinked on cutting 10% across the board, being the mother of 2 toddlers and caring very much about the school down the street. (I know schools didn’t suffer the entire 10%; it was still rough.)
Could it be somehow the flood? I have heard through the grapevine that some residents of the northeastern lakes territory felt a bit chagrinned that so much focus went to the Mighty Mo while they, too, faced rising waters. I have also heard grumbling about disproportionate use of National Guard resources in the tony Dakota Dunes community.
Even if these complaints are unwarranted – and I must confess I have not followed up, the perception is certainly out there. And, you know, people talk.
Could it be a lawyerly, perhaps professorial speaking style that, for all of Denny’s niceness, lacks a bit in the broad charisma that is the currency of modern-day politics?
Could it be that the stepped-up rhetoric coming from the Dems is having an impact?
Could it be that I’m simply all wet? That 60% is really quite high in the current electoral climate?