Just last month when we took a first look at the 2014 landscape we talked about how much Rick Snyder had improved his popularity during his second year in office and how he led a generic Democrat for reelection by 6 points, even as Barack Obama won the state comfortably.Three words are to blame here: right to work. Well, of course, Snyder himself is to blame: After telling the state of Michigan that he would not push through anti-union and anti-worker "right to work" legislation (that Orwellian epithet really means "right to work for less"), he went ahead and did exactly that during a shameful lame-duck session of the legislature. (Michigan Republicans lost seats this November, so they wanted to force a vote while they still had greater numbers.) Overall, voters oppose RTW 51-41, and a similar 49-40 margin says they'd vote to overturn the law if given the chance at the ballot box.
Last week he threw all that out the window.
We now find Snyder as one of the most unpopular Governors in the country. Only 38% of voters approve of him to 56% who disapprove. There are only 2 other sitting Governors we've polled on who have a worse net approval rating than Snyder's -18. He's dropped a net 28 points from our last poll on him, the weekend before the election, when he was at a +10 spread (47/37).
And now for the really fun stuff. If Snyder does indeed run for a second term—something he previously said he might not do—well, he'd get pummeled, if his fortunes don't somehow turn around. Here's how he does against a passel of possible contenders:
38-49 vs. 2010 nominee Virg BerneroNote that ceiling of 38 to 39 percent for Snyder: All of his potential opponents are unknown to half the state, even Bernero. That means, at least right now, voters are really thinking "anyone but Snyder." Hell, as Tom Jensen points out, Bernero lost by 18 points in 2010, so these new numbers constitute a remarkable 29-point reversal of fortune.
39-47 vs. Rep. Gary Peters
38-46 vs. state Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer
39-44 vs. ex-Rep. Mark Schauer
Don't be thinking recall, though: Voters still oppose the notion 48-44, and as we saw in Wisconsin, those numbers tend to get worse over time, not better. And Tom also notes that Snyder's bounced back before: He started his term in office with an abysmal 33-50 job approval score. Now, though, with the midterm election cycle already underway, Democrats and labor unions won't take their boots off Snyder's neck—and hopefully things will stay that way until Nov. 2014.
P.S. Republicans in the legislature are also getting slaughtered over this. They currently have a 31-58 approval rating (versus 46-37 for Democrats), leading to an eye-popping 56-32 lead for Dems on the generic congressional ballot. PPP calls that "one of the most lopsided generic ballots we've ever seen in any state." It's just too bad the next elections are so far off!