December 4, 2007

Is the Honeymoon Over?: Ritter's Popularity Taking a Hit

Overlooked in today's Rasmussen poll that headlined the dead heat in the U.S. Senate race between former Rep. Bob Schaffer and Boulder liberal Rep. Mark Udall is the approval ratings of Gov. Bill Ritter as judged by likely Colorado voters:
2* How do you rate the way that Bill Ritter is performing his role as Governor? Excellent, good, fair, or poor?

14% Excellent

35% Good

31% Fair

16% Poor

4% Not sure
For those keeping tabs, that's a 49% Excellent/Good vs. 47% Fair/Poor.

Now to compare, here are results from the same question using the same methodology from Rasmussen on August 8:
2* How do you rate the way that Bill Ritter is performing his roll as Governor? Excellent, good, fair, or poor?

19% Excellent

41% Good

26% Fair

10% Poor

4% Not Sure
Back in the summertime heat, Ritter still had a 60% Excellent/Good vs. a 36% Fair/Poor rating. In three and a half months, the governor's popularity has chilled along with the falling leaves and first snows - dropping more than 10 points.

Of course, the survey using four descriptors tells us more than Democrat pollster Floyd Ciruli's dichotomous question, which showed Ritter with a 71% Approve / 15% Disapprove back in September.

All in all, these latest poll results confirm what was written a couple weeks ago in this blog's inaugural post:
Welcome to Ritter Watch, a new blog dedicated to tracking the record of Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter (D). With his congeniality and charisma, Ritter started his term in office with a lot of leeway. But after signing a property tax increase without a vote of the people and unionizing state employees by executive order, the political honeymoon is over.
Strictly speaking, it's the latter action which has put the governor in a bit hotter water with the voters during the past month. But keep an eye on the trends. It's doubtful we'll see Ritter's popularity levels again reach where they crested earlier this year.

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