President Barack Obama’s numbers have plunged in all 50 states, according to a Gallup poll released Wednesday — overall, the president’s average approval rating fell from 58 percent in 2009 to 47 percent in 2010.
The news came as the revolt against public unions started by Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin showed signs of moving to more states, according to Time magazine
. Time pointed out that while anti-union legislation differs in states across the country, the conflicts in places like Ohio, Indiana and Florida all pit GOP governors or their statehouse allies against entrenched labor movements.
• In Indiana, Democratic legislators, mirroring their Wisconsin counterparts' desperation, fled the state to deny Republican lawmakers the quorum necessary to proceed on a "right to work" bill, legislation that would prevent employers and unions from signing contracts that require non-members to pay fees for representation. That has come with a cost: The political weight of a single bill grounded Gov. Mitch Daniels' ambitious agenda, Time pointed out.
• In Michigan, newly elected Republican Gov. Rick Snyder's budget calls for pensions to be taxed, and he backs empowering emergency financial managers, brought in when a school or city is foundering, to cut union contracts. But Snyder says he remains committed to bargaining with labor rather than forcing his position. "It's not confrontational with the unions," he said. "It's about how we do collective bargaining to achieve a mutual outcome where we all benefit."
• Florida is already a "right to work state,” but GOP state Sen. John Thrasher has introduced legislation to declaw unions there politically. The bill would bar labor groups from using salary deductions for candidate donations or electioneering. Gov. Rick Scott proposed laying off 6,700 state workers in his first budget proposal but he has backed off a larger standoff with unions. "My belief is as long as people know what they're doing, collective bargaining is fine," he told Tallahassee's WFLA Radio on Tuesday.
• In Ohio, Gov. John Kasich says he’s willing to weather confrontation with unions over what’s known as Senate Bill 5. It would abolish collective-bargaining rights for 42,000 state workers and scale back those of roughly 300,000 local government employees in Ohio, including teachers, firefighters and police. Democrats lack the numbers in the statehouse to delay action with a walkout. Republicans have an 8-4 majority on that Insurance, Commerce and Labor Committee, not to mention a 23-10 majority in the senate overall. SB5 is likely to face a full vote next week.
These revolts, which are likely to spread to other states next week, don’t bode well for a president facing sinking polls. His approval rating fell in every state, according to a compilation of Gallup’s daily tracking polls.
Obama’s national approval rating dropped to 47 percent in 2010 from 58 percent in 2009.
The biggest decline came in Vermont, where his approval rating dived 15.2 percentage points to 52.6 percent in 2010. The second-largest plunge came in Arizona – 14.5 percentage points to 40.2 percent. The third-biggest decline came in Kentucky – 14.2 percentage points to 38.6 percent. The fourth-largest decrease came in Missouri – 14.1 percentage points to 41.4 percent.
Obama’s approval rating sank by more than 10 points in more than 30 states. The 10 states with the highest ratings all traditionally lean blue. After D.C. and Hawaii, they are Maryland, New York, Delaware, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, California, Connecticut and Illinois, the Daily Caller pointed out.
The 10 states with the lowest approval ratings are Wyoming, Idaho, West Virginia, Utah, Oklahoma, Alaska, Kentucky, Montana, Arkansas, and Kansas.
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