That’s what the 2014 election was. The year of crappy legislators with low approval ratings floating to the top, despite the fact that their constituents hate them. When I say hate, I mean really hate. Let’s review.
I want to start with the one whose approval ratings made it seem inconceivable that he could get reelected; Rick Scott. Six months into his term, in June 2011, his approval rating was 33% with a disapproval rating of 59%. Less than 12 months into his term, Rick Scott’s approval rating was 26%. He was, by far the most despised governor in the US. By August of 2012, his approvals went up to an unimpressive 39% with a mere 51% unapproving. By October 2013, his approvals were back down to 33% and his disapprovals were at 55%. Two freaking weeks ago, Scott had an approval rating of 44% with a disapproval of 49%.
Next up, Georgia’s Nathan Deal. I couldn’t get as much polling data on Deal as I could on Voldemort, but I got enough. In April 2013, Deal was at a net -4 with an approval of 37%, disapproval of 41%. Six months later in August, it got worse with an approval of 34% with a disapproval of 41%. To put that into context, Obama has been riding high compared to Deal.
And now we move to Sam "bankrupted Kansas" Brownback. This asshole went into the governorship with a proud proclamation that Kansas was going to be a "real, live experiment" for right wing policies. And that’s exactly what he did. He eliminated taxes for businesses in Kansas, causing nearly a billion dollars to evaporate. But have no fear, Kansas public schools can just get by with less. This has the added bonus of ensuring that Kansans stay stupid, thereby increasing the odds that they would continue to vote republican. By February 2013, Brownback’s approval ratings were at 33% with disapprovals at 51%. Here’s the really interesting part of those numbers; the disparity among democrats, independents, and republicans. Independents were at 22% approve, 66% disapprove. Democrats were at 14% approve, 81% disapprove. The fiscally responsible, family values republicans of Kansas approved of his budget blowing, family screwing performance to the tune of 55%, with a mere 30% actually sticking to the principles they espouse by disapproving of this shit show.
Do not ever, EVER allow a republican tell you that they give a flying fuck about deficits OR their families. That’s clearly not the basis upon which they cast their votes. Sorry, I’m a little bitchy today. But Kansas gets what Kansas deserves.
Our next shining example of a not-at-all-dysfunctional democracy is the re-election of Rick "I’m going to replace democracy with emergency managers" Snyder of Michigan. One short year into his term, Snyder’s approvals were at 40% with 47% disapprovals. By December of 2012, thanks to his cheer leading for "right to work for less", he was at a 38% approval, 56% disapproval. A month and a half ago, he had an approval rating of 37% with a disapproval of 54%.
This truly was the year when the poop floated to the top of our government. Why did this happen? Money. I don’t have exact figures right now because of all of the last minute "dark" (otherwise known as Citizen’s United) money that went into all of these races, but it looks like the usual pattern of the biggest spender winning the election held true last night. Snyder spend roughly three times more than his opponent. Nathan Deal spend about twice as much as his opponent. I can’t get numbers that are remotely accurate on the Kansas and Florida races. It will be a while before the dust settles on all of the cash that came in just during the last two weeks. I do know that Florida’s grand total on the 2014 election cycle was about $350 million dollars. Of course, $85 million of that was from Sheldon Adelson making sure that no one could legally smoke pot in Florida, so that had nothing to do with the governor’s race. There were too many sources of cash swirling around all four candidates for me to calculate where it all landed. I will write a follow up to this post when I have those numbers.
So what’s the point of this post? I actually have two. Number one is that every election moving forward will produce the same results; poop floating to the top. We will never get good government until we fix the system. We need to amend the constitution to get money out of politics. We have no other viable options left. That voting third party horseshit that got us Bush in 2000, got Florida four more years of Rick Scott. That is clearly not the way to go. If you’re fed up with this shit (literally), you need to join us at Wolf PAC. Volunteer, donate, do what you can do. You literally have no other options. Whether you’re a conservative or a liberal, you’re not going to get the government you want any other way. My second point in writing this post is so that you would have these approval ratings on hand the next time some batshit crazy republican brings up how much Obama sucks. Let them know that his approvals are well within the range of likely re-election if he ran for a third term.