Over time we have done a lot of coverage of controversial policy measures being inaugurated around the country by the new breed of Republican governors elected last fall due to the recession. And according to survey data from Margie Omero at Public Policy Polling, the voters in most of these states (though not all, Nevada’s an exception) aren’t liking the cocktail of budget cuts, union-busting, anti-abortion laws, etc.
Polls show voters in battleground states regret having voted for their new Republican Governors. Since February, Democratic firm PPP released surveys in eight states asking voters “if you could do last fall’s election for Governor over again, how would you vote?” In seven of the eight, the Democrat now would win, with all seven showing double-digit improvements in their margin. (Only Rory Reid in Nevada still trails.) The chart below shows both the actual 2010 margin and the new margin, sorted by the shift.
There are, in fact, recall drives afoot in at least some of these states. But despite these polls and those efforts, voters can’t generally stage a “do-over” on the election. The resulting conservative policy shifts — often notwithstanding the wishes of the voters — are part of the ongoing price the country is paying for the inadequacy of economic recovery measures adopted during the 110th Congress. Macroeconomic performance is the main driver of political outcomes, and, simply put, macroeconomic performance wasn’t good enough last year to stop the opposition party from sweeping into office despite an extreme agenda that voters don’t like once they see it.