In today’s Rocky Mountain News, Colorado Democrat pollster Floyd Ciruli takes a cold, analytical look at Gov. Bill Ritter’s approval ratings — boiled down, the picture isn’t pretty for the potential one-term governor:
Surprisingly, new Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter may be in trouble. When compared with his Montana counterpart, Gov. Brian Schweitzer, in recent Rasmussen polls, Ritter’s job rating lags behind Schweitzer by 19 points. Only 45 percent of Colorado voters gave Ritter an excellent or good job rating, whereas 64 percent of Montanans rated Schweitzer as doing an excellent or good job.
Floyd Ciruli cites a litany of reasons for Bill Ritter’s sagging popularity, reasons that have been regular themes of this and other local new media sites:
- An unconstitutional property tax increase
- Do-nothing blue-ribbon panels
- New regulations on oil and gas drilling
- Pushing an unpopular severance tax initiative
- Legal troubles over misspent campaign funds
- Giving union leaders a gold-plated invitation to state government
Ciruli might also have mentioned starring in preachy, taxpayer-funded “green” commercials and signing the now infamous Senate Bill 200, aka the “bathroom bill.” (I’m sure I’ve missed a few.)
As the second half of Bill Ritter’s term approaches, the question remains whether Republicans can field a strong and viable challenger to unseat the increasingly vulnerable incumbent in 2010.