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In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Feelin' Better Is Strange

     We are an odd bunch.
     GM in bankruptcy.  Chrysler struggling to get out of it.  Michigan leads the nation with the highest jobless rate and the weather around here these days is enough to send any sane person into hiding.
      Yet over half of you are upbeat about next year getting better.  What water are you drinking?
      The latest MSU survey shocked everyone in this town.  To be sure 67% report they are worse off this year than a year ago, but get this, in addition to being upbeat about next year, more folks have confidence in all three branches of government to boot.
       It is true that the majority of citizens still don't trust the feds, the state, or local officials, but for the20first time in recent memory, there's been an actual up tick of trust.  Go figure.
       Even the beleaguered Michigan governor got a small dose of favorable news. 67% still think she is doing a lousy job, but since the last survey, the number who believe she is doing a good or excellent job has mushroomed to 33%.  Still nothing like the 68% she enjoyed when she first came into office, but she'll take the increase.
       Researchers can't nail down the reason for this spike of unexpected optimism, but the answer could rest in the new White House.
       Everyone knows that Barack Obama had coattails last November as he dragged fellow democrats into office, but nobody really expect his popularity, now over 70%, to have a halo effect on others as well.
       The same thing happened when George W. took office for the first time.  His numbers were off the charts.  He left office with the numbers off the charts but in the opposite direction.
       Too early to tell if a similar fate awaits Mr. O, but for the moment, some folks around here are feeling better and for Michigan that is a major story.


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