Schweitzer’s Popularity Paradox

According to the Public Policy Polling group’s year-end rankings, Brian Schweitzer is currently the most popular Democratic Governor in America and the second most popular governor in the nation.

What strikes me as interesting about this ranking is that Schweitzer is a darling of the progressive movement, and yet is popular in a right-wing state. He was the headline speaker at the Daily Kos convention this year, and brought the house down with his cowboy cacophony.  And yet in Montana, Republicans control the legislature by almost 2-1, presidential candidates rarely get more than 40%, and 65% of the population oppose health care reform.

So I’ll open the floor to my commenters.  How do you explain this unusual high standing among both conservative and progressive voters?


18 Comments on "Schweitzer’s Popularity Paradox"

  1. Purty easy, really. True Montanans care more about personalities than parties.

    It’s the same reason they elect Jon Tester.

  2. I do think Tester is popular, but he should back away from the health care debaucle if he wants to stay that way. He should stick to the forest bill and veterans benefits.

    • Just got this from the TEA Party last night:

      Dear Patriot,   January 7, 2011                                                                                                                                                                        Contact: Eric Olsen 406-696-2353Montana Shrugged Announced Major Grassroots Healthcare Repeal RallyBILLINGS- The Montana Shrugged TEA Party Patriots in Billings announced today that they would be collaborating with TEA Party organizations from around Montana and the nation, Wednesday January 12th at high noon, in what is being billed as a major grassroots demonstration, pushing for the repeal of Obamacare. With the US House voting today to begin the process of repeal and a floor vote expected on full repeal next Wednesday January 12th, the leader of the Montana Shrugged Group, Eric Olsen, is calling on Montanans to come out raise their voices in support of repeal.”This big government takeover of healthcare will bankrupt our nation” said Olsen in a statement made Friday from his Billings office. “We are calling on everyday Montanans to join concerned citizens and TEA Party groups around the state and nation in joint rallies at the offices of Senator’s Tester, Baucus, Attorney General Steve Bullock, and Governor Schweitzer next Wednesday, January 12th at 12:00 pm. We are demanding that the State of Montana join the lawsuit against this bill, which has already been ruled unconstitutional. And we are calling on Senator’s Tester and Baucus to demand that Majority Leader Harry Reid allow a full floor vote for the repeal bill which passes the House.”The House of Representatives, which saw large Republican gains in last November’s election, is expected to vote overwhelmingly for repeal with a number of Democrats indicating that they will cross party lines and vote with Republicans. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has vowed to keep the house repeal bill from coming to a vote in the Senate.  Olsen continued, “There are more than 30 Democrats, like Jon Tester, who are up for re-election in 2012. If they think they are going to keep their jobs and vote against repealing this terrible bill, I am afraid that they are sadly mistaken; we the people will make sure of that.”__________________________________________________________ You, THE PEOPLE, are the heart and soul of the Tea Party Movement. Thank you for promoting the causes of fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government, and free markets with us!Jennifer OlsenCo-FounderMontana Shrugged, TEA Party Patriots

  3. Darling of the progressive movement? Where do you come up with that? The only things that are progressive about Schweitzer are his militant opposition to incandescent light bulbs and his light in the loafers Lt. Governor.

    For the most part, Schweitzer is a fiscal conservative who has stuck to his guns on “no new taxes”. Speaking of guns, he likes them. He also likes booze and he adores big business if they make him feel important.

    It is no surprise that 55% would approve of his performance in a “right-wing state”.

    The poll number I want to see is what percentage of Montanans think he is an arrogant ass!

  4. is the number one governor by popularity, but realize that the Jindal number comes from six months ago and he has since tanked. So a more current poll might show Schweitzer at the top of the pile. Montana should be happy. We could have someone like Arnold or Palin.

  5. Maybe I’m a little slow on Saturday morning, but Cowgirl seems to be indulging in a little creative interpretation of the poll:

    “According to the Public Policy Polling group’s year-end rankings, Brian Schweitzer is currently the most popular Democratic Governor in America and the second most popular governor in the nation.”

    I followed the link where it shows BS in fourth place. Oh, sure – Manchin is no longer a governor, but in the quoted poll he was first and two Republican governors were are numbers two and three, Schweitzer is fourth. I see where you can knock off Manchin, but who else are you discounting – Jindal or Rell – to shove Big Bri into second place?

    It’s very interesting how you can totally misrepresent the poll you referenced in order to justify the results you want to tout.

    BTW a 55 approval rating isn’t exactly stratospheric. Here’s a little hint, Brian isn’t quite as popular with the VOTERS as he – and you – would like the rest of us to believe.

    But don’t let the facts stop you. Keep telling the gov that he can take Tester’s seat in ’12. I want to have the popcorn concession for that show.

  6. I wish we could vote to give Brian Schwietzer a third term, four more years four more years. But if wishes were horses then beggers would ride. So my question is what will Demorcats offer as the replacement for Schwietzer in less then two years? I think we need a fresh face, somebody new, and somebody that can win in all of Montana, not just downtown Missoula. I see the Republicans everyday are just aching for 2012 because they see a way into the governors office, a way to possibly get a US Senate seat in Montana back, and probley a way to get the Whitehouse back. I know its only January of 2011 but what do Democrats offer as the alternative. And how do we keep 2012 from being like 2010? I dont want to go through another night in 2012 like what we went through in 2010 after we lost the state legislature, and the congressional seat, and the psc. Except this time the nightmare would be we lose Tester and Schwietzer on the same election.

  7. You’re trying to make sense of low-information voters?

  8. I think we need to take the wisdom of voters seriously, no doubt. But I agree that simply because voters agree with something or someone doesn’t make it right. Otherwise Coobs would actually be making a point when he keeps repeating that Denny Rehberg is almost as popular as Nancy Pelosi and is thus a good candidate.

  9. I am a Libertarian and – voted for Rehberg and Schweitzer because both ae fiscal conservatives that want to balance the budget and stop earmarks-Rehberg at the federal level and Schweitzer at the state level.

  10. Schweitzer is popular because he is a smart politician and has actually done a pretty good job.I do think Montana will vote a republican in to finish the conservative takeover.

  11. You guys are all a hoot. The GOP can smell your blood in the water folks and you don’t even know it yet. 2012 will make 2010 pale in comparison, just watch and see, in Montana at least.

    You can joke all you want about their intellectual abilities and you will find yourselves out of power every time!

  12. Gov popularity is no mystery. Be careful with the taxpayers money. Run a tight ship, and don’t waste the revenue the state gets. But also don’t send it back to the 1% and the large corporations/people like the GOP always wants to do (who made up this myth that they were good with money or arithmetic?). Gov also invests state revenues wisely in our future by funding education at all levels to provide long-term opportunity for the people. Montanans respect Gov’s common-sense approach to these things over the GOP’s slavish pandering to a far right ideology that hurts real people.

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