Dissecting Doug Rubin’s Talking Points on the Boston Globe Poll

(Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has an approval rating of 48% approve to 48% disapprove according to Rasmussen.  That’s one less governor for Doug Rubin to show has lower approval ratings than Governor Patrick – promoted by EaBo Clipper)

Update: Prevailing wage rate for flaggers is $36.35 for flaggers and will go up to $38.35 according to the Boston Herald.  I’ve adjusted the story.

Doug Rubin sent out the following talking points on the Governor’s poor showing in The Boston Globe poll released today.  I received this via email around 11 am.


In light of today’s Globe Poll, we know that many of you will be receiving many questions about the Governor and the Commonwealth. Below are some talking points to help with those conversations. We ask that you use these in conversation and distribute them to your friends and family. I’m proud of what we have accomplished, feel confident talking about our work, and I hope you are as well.


Doug Rubin

The Environment: We are in the midst of a national economic crisis, and governors across the country are feeling the impact of leading their states through these challenging times. Many people are struggling in this economy, and it is natural for them to ask more of their leaders. Governor Patrick’s poll numbers are consistent or better than most other governors’, both Republican and Democrat.

First what Doug Rubin is not telling his supporters is that this poll is not of likely voters, nor even registered voters. The poll is of adults.  Polls of adults generally make an incumbent out to be better than he actually is.  Here are the most recent poll numbers for Governors across the country over the past two months.

Sienna College which polled registered voters, in July, showed David Patterson’s numbers at 36% approve 56% unfavorable.  

Governor Strickland of Ohio has a 46% approval rating amongst Registered Voters according to Quinnipiac as of early July.

Charlie Crist of Florida has a 57% favorable to 36% unfavorable rating according to Rasmussen Reports interviews of 500 likely voters.

Governor Rendell of Pennsylvania has an approval rating of 39%A – 53%D according to Quinnipiac in late July.

Governor Corzine of NJ has a RCP average of 36% approve 55.5% disapprove.

Governor John Lynch of New Hampshire has an favorability rating of 62% favorable to 24% unfavorable according to UNH.

Public Policy Polling group shows North Carolina Governor Bev Purdue with 25% approval 56% disapproval rating.

Quinnipiac has Governor Jodi Rell of Connecticut recently at a 65% approval, 30% disapproval rating.

Public Policy Polling shows Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana with a job approval rating of 55% approve to 38% disapprove. This poll was taken last week.

Tarrance shows Colorado Governor Ritter with a 44% approve to 45% disapprove rating. This poll was taken in late June.

Survey USA has a list of monthly tracking polls that they release. Below you will find the results of these surveys of adults as of 6/23/2009.

Alabama Approval Rating Governor Bob Riley – 59% approve – 37% disapprove

California Approval Rating Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger – 24% approve – 73% disapprove

Iowa Approval Rating Governor Chet Culver – 42% approve – 51% disapprove

Kansas Approval Rating Governor Mark Parkinson – 46% approve – 36% disapprove

Kentucky Approval Rating Governor Steve Beshear – 48% approve – 46% disapprove

Minnesota Approval Rating Governor Tim Pawlenty – 47% approve – 50% disapprove

Missouri Approval Rating Governor Jay Nixon – 55% approve – 36% disapprove

New Mexico Approval Rating Governor Bill Richardson – 48% approve – 47% disapprove

New York Approval Rating Governor David Paterson – 18% approve – 75% disapprove.

Oregon Approval Rating Governor Ted Kulongoski – 39% approve – 56% disapprove

Virginia Approval Rating Governor Tim Kaine – 53% approve – 40% disapprove

Washington Approval Rating Governor Christine Gregoire – 37% approve – 55% disapprove

Wisconsin Approval Rating Governor Jim Doyle – 33% – 61%

I quickly found a representative sample of 22 governors’ polls that are readily found on the internet.  With Governor Patrick’s poll from The Boston Globe that makes 23 polls.

Of the 23 total polls using Governor Patrick’s 36% approval number, 5 other Governor’s have the same or lower approval than Governor Patrick, one has a point higher, and 17 are significantly higher than Governor Patrick’s.  Perhaps Doug Rubin would like to share the other 21 polls that show other governor’s at or below Patrick’s numbers.  This would allow him to use the word most.

Challenging the Status Quo: Governor Patrick has taken on many entrenched interests on behalf of the people of Massachusetts, pushing for major reforms in pension laws, ethics, transportation, civilian flaggers, and charter schools. These successes will have a positive long-term impact for our state, but bring with them short-term political consequences.

Civilian flaggers without change in prevailing wage laws means we pay close to $40 per hour($36.36) for flaggers.  This is practically no savings over Police officers.  Charter schools remain to be seen, but since the public supports charter schools, I think this would help not hurt the governor, and it hasn’t.  The transportation reform is window dressing, without prevailing wage reform we still spend 22% more for public works projects in Massachusetts than we would if we used the Federal Prevailing Wage in Massachusetts.  The ethics and pension reforms are small, and were only passed to give the governor cover to sign a 25% tax increase.

Timing: We are in the midst of difficult economic times, the three challengers are relatively unknown, and the Governor has been making the tough decisions. We need to deliver a budget that is balanced, on-time, and keeps our leadership in education in tact. Yet, the Governor still stays strong in an hypothetical 3-way campaign in the Boston Globe poll.

Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana has guided his state to a 1.3B surplus while increasing education funding.  With the right priorities this could be done in Massachusetts.  Governor Patrick could start the process of managing the state finances by eliminating his Washington Office. Something he has refused to do.  

The Campaign: There will be plenty of time to focus on the campaign. Right now, the Governor understands that people are struggling in this economy, and he remains focused on helping them by creating jobs, keeping our commitment to education and health care reform, and reforming the way Beacon Hill does our business. When the time comes for the campaign, the Governor looks forward to talking about the specific actions he has taken to benefit the people of MA and put our state on the road to recovery. These include creating good-paying jobs in growing industries like life sciences, bio-tech, and clean energy, cutting auto insurance rates for consumers, cutting costs through reforms like civilian flaggers, and closing a $5 billion budget gap while keeping our commitment to public education and affordable health care.

With all due respect Doug, if the Governor wasn’t in campaign mode, you would still be Chief of Staff, and David Plouffe would still be working for President Obama.  In addition I wouldn’t have received two emails from your campaign operation about the poll. You are most definitely in campaign mode, and so far it isn’t going too well, is it?

About Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno