Katrina: Barbour Up, Blanco Down

A SurveyUSA poll of all the state governors reveals that all of the governors whose states were directly hit by Hurricane Katrina had a major boom in job approval compared with the previous month, with the notable exception of Louisiana’s Kathleen Blanco.

  • Haley Barbour (R, Mississippi) +26
  • Bob Riley (R, Alabama) +21
  • Mike Easley (D, North Carolina) +19
  • Sonny Perdue (R, Georgia) +18
  • Rick Perry (R, Texas) +17
  • Kathleen Blanco (D, Louisiana) -22

The gap between Barbour and Blanco, who lead the states most devastated by Katrina, could scarely be more stark.

Source: 50 State Governor Approval 0905 Sorted by Net Approval

via Taegan Goddard

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Herb says:

    Looks like the public is repudiating the efforts of the liberal MSM, Governor Blanco, Nagen, and the rest of the hate Bush liberals that are putting the blame for Katrina on Bush.

    Who was it that said “you can fool some of the people some of the time, etc, etc, etc”.?

  2. What is so unfortunate is that people do blame Nagin and Blanco more than they blame Bush, but Nagin and Blanco are irrelevant to most Americans, so the blame transfers over to Bush. I mean, he’s the only one accountable to them. Someone in Iowa has no influence whatsoever on Nagin and Blanco.

    Which is why this is so frustrating. Blanco messes up. Everyone can see that. But Blanco is not running against Bush. She is the executive of one small state.

    But meanwhile, legally, the President was limited in what he could actually do, legally and by tradition. And as Blanco messes it up, even though by any stretch of the imagination (for those of us who actually follow this stuff) Bush couldn’t bear the blame, he’s the only national figure there.

    So Blanco’s failures cause Bush to take a political hit. Ugh.

    Which is why, I guess, President Bush is now trying to get more authority in these kinds of future situations. As long as he gets 100% of the blame, he ought to actually have the chance to screw something up first.

  3. SoloD says:


    Have you seen Bush’s latest approval numbers? I hardly think the public is ralling to Bush’s side.

  4. SoloD says:

    rallying, I mean

  5. Herb says:


    I don’t think Bush is like Clinton.

    Bush does not run the White House or the Country like Clinton did, (By Poll Numbers.)

    I don’t think Bush cares one bit about the polls, but I think you see the numbers rise sharply very soon now.

  6. Anderson says:

    I heard Bush on the radio, addressing some Mississippi folk & recounting how he’d been talking to “Haley.”

    Somehow I doubt he’s telling La. folks how he’s been rapping with “Kathleen,” let alone “Katie.”

    (OTOH, where would Kathleen Blanco’s numbers be if she were, by horrrible irony, Katrina Blanco?)

  7. As a sometime observer of Mississippi politics, let me just say that Haley Barbour’s numbers had nowhere to go but up.

  8. SoloD says:


    In case you doubt that this WH watches the numbers, take a look at the RNC’s FEC statements. There is a whole lotta $ going to the President’s pollster. Bush may not pay attention to polls (yeah, right) but I am sure that Karl Rove gets update every day.