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Red State Renaissance?

The Democratic blogosphere has been abuzz this week over a giant batch of polls released by SurveyUSA measuring the approval/disapproval ratings of all 50 Governors (as of May 6-8). So far I haven't seen anyone look at them from the perspective of Democrats in red states, but once you do it really leaps off the page. Here are the numbers for the twelve Democratic Governors of states carried by Bush in 2004, beginning with their ranking among the 50:(3) David Freudenthal WY (67/20)(6) Joe Manchin WV (64/24)(8) Janet Napolitano AZ ((59/32)(10) Brad Henry OK (59/30)(11) Brian Schweitzer MT ((58/27)(12) Kathleen Blanco LA (55/36)(13) Mark Warner VA ((55/31)(16) Kathleen Sebelius KS (54/34)(20) Bill Richardson NM (54/39)(22) Mike Easley NC (52/34)(23) Phil Bredesen TN (52/40)(25) Tom Vilsack IA (50/39)Amazing, huh? All 12 are in the top half of Governors, all have approval ratings of 50 or above, and all have solid approval/disapproval ratios.The other interesting optic I wanted to draw attention to is the ragged popularity of Republican Governors in the South. As regular readers of this blog know, one of my theories about Southern Republicans is that they don't do as well in office as in opposition, which creates perennial opportunities for Southern Democrats even in the toughest terrain. Here are the rankings and numbers for Southern GOPers:(21) Mark Sanford SC (53/35)(24) Mike Huckabee AR (51/41)(28) Jeb Bush FL (49/46)(30) Sonny Perdue GA (47/40)(38) Rick Perry TX (38/48)(40) Haley Barbour MS (37/55)(41) Bob Riley AL (36/52)(43) Ernie Fletcher KY (36/50)If you add in the border state of MO, you also get:(48) Matt Blunt MO (33/57)None of these numbers, of course, guarantee future Democratic success in red states, but things are definitely looking up.UPDATE: For a truly comprehensive analysis of these guberatorial approval ratings, check out a series of posts by Drew Miller, who's president of the College Democrats of Iowa.