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   Unpopular Freshman GOP Governors Could Help Obama‚Äôs Reelection Bid

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5/31/2011 5:00 pm

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Entered 5/31/2011, Updated 5/31/2011

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When several newly minted Republican governors began pushing through broad, unpopular legislation this year, they may have unintentionally aided President Obama's reelection odds. Emboldened by their party's midterm election day romp, freshman GOP governors in a few crucial swing states immediately began to advance radical legislation upon taking office. But as the cost of those unpopular legislative agendas has now become clear in the form of free-falling approval ratings and incredible buyer's remorse, polls have shown that that same voter discontent could translate into a big 2012 boost for President Obama. As Politico pointed out, Florida is perhaps the best case of this. With 29 electoral votes, Florida is an enormous prize in presidential elections, and one that is sure to be hotly contested in 2012. Obama won the state by a mere 3-point margin in 2008, and now, as Gov. Rick Scott's approval rating has nosedived, Obama's standing in hypothetical matchups of the 2012 race has improved. Scott riled his constituents right off the bat by pushing to scale back teacher's benefits, trying to tie performance to pay and seeking to eliminate tenure for future hires. Then last week, he signed a budget that slashed $4 billion dollars in spending, including major cuts to education and Medicaid -- but not before vetoing an additional $615 million for items such a public broadcasting and public universities.


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