Poll: Taft approval rating at 19%; 74% disapprove

The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that a new national poll has determined Gov. Bob Taft has the lowest approval rating of any governor in the nation.

According to the Dispatch, New Jersey-based SurveyUSA, an independent firm that does polling primarily for television stations, found that the Republican had an approval rating of 19 percent.

From the story:

    Analysts said Taft is being blamed for Ohio’s bad economy and tax increases in recent years, and that voters also may be turned off by his lowkey leadership style.

    "He’s a very pleasant and competent man, but he’s not a great communicator," said Larry J. Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics.

    Taft spokesman Mark Rickel said other recent polls have produced a wide range of results, and that the governor is focusing on selling his tax plan to boost the economy.

    "We can’t pay attention to such inconsistent numbers," Rickel said. "We’re going to continue to focus on reforming Ohio’s tax code and creating jobs."

    Still, analysts said the results from SurveyUSA are consistent with other recent polls that showed a low approval rating for Taft.

    The Ohio Poll, for example, conducted by the University of Cincinnati, found that 34 percent of those surveyed in April approved of Taft’s performance — the lowest governor’s rating in the poll’s 24 years.

The people who should be paying attention to these poll numbers are Ohio's Republican state legislators.

Citizens concerned with having the private concealed handgun license information published by anti-gun media outlets certainly deserve to know why a man with such incredible political weakness was allowed to kill a proposal to amend House Bill 9 to close the media access loophole simply by threatening a veto.

Why is it that the Republican caucus is still afraid to do the right thing for Ohioans in the General Assembly, even if it means a veto override?

In 2003, the answer was obvious – then-President Doug White said term-limited Senators like himself were looking for "life after the legislature" – job appointments from Taft. They were trading their votes for a chance at a cushy state post. White got his appoinment.

But the situation now is much different. When the next round of term-limits hits, it’s not just certain Senators and Representatives who will be jobless – it’ll be Bob Taft. For most Ohioans, according to this poll, that day cannot come soon enough.

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