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So much for the bounce

Rick Perry’s approval numbers are back in their usual state of negativity after a one-month bounce from Hurricane Katrina, according to SurveyUSA. You can see the trendlines here. Basically, after recording September numbers of 49% approve/45% disapprove, October checks in at 43/52. That’s still his best approval number going back to at least May, but the disapproval number is also one point short of the highest it’s been. Compared to his peers, he’s 36th in approval total, and 39th in net approval.

The demographic splits yield some interesting data. Compared to September, when he was in net positive territory for just about every group, Perry has lost significant turf among Hispanics, independents, and (surprisingly) regular churchgoers. He’s actually doing worse among men than he is among women, which is something I’d frankly never expect to see – it was like that last month though it didn’t register with me, but in July he was doing slightly better with men. I might think it’s possible that since September he’s taking the brunt of some frustrations with the Hurricane Rita evacuation, except that he’s doing as well in Harris County as he was before – indeed, it’s one of the few places he’s still in net positive terrain. He’s a little worse off in East Texas (41/55 compared to 43/50), but not nearly enough to explain such an across-the-board decline. Without anything else to go on, I think people have simply gone back to feeling about him as they have been for awhile now.

I’ll keep an eye on these monthly checkups, as I’m sure Team Bell will, too. My guess is that if we see any motion in these numbers, it’ll be a further erosion – another special session on school finance would do the trick for that. We’ll see.

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