Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) has seen a significant drop in his approval rating since signing a widely criticized "religious freedom" law, with one longtime political observer in the state saying the fall is historic for a governor.
"I've been covering Indiana politics for three decades, and I don't recall a sitting governor experiencing that kind of decline over this short period of time like we've seen here," said Brian Howey, publisher of the widely respected site Howey Politics Indiana.
A new HPI poll by pollster Christine Matthews of Bellwether Research shows Pence's favorable rating at just 35 percent, and his unfavorable rating at 38 percent.
In 2013, an HPI poll found Pence faring much better than he is now. Then, he was at a 52 percent favorable rating and a 20 percent unfavorable rating.
Fifty-nine percent of respondents in the new poll said the "religious freedom" law was unnecessary, compared to just 30 percent who thought it was needed. Another 50 percent said the controversy surrounding the law will have a "negative impact on the economy" even after it "isn't front page news."
"In the 20 years that HPI has been publishing, and in the polling HPI has conducted since 2008, an Indiana governor has never experienced this kind of survey decline in this short time frame," Howey wrote in his newsletter Thursday.
In other words, Pence is rapidly becoming the Chris Christie of the Midwest (and without the charisma.) Pence, should he run for re-election, would face a November 2016 vote. Somehow I'm thinking Indiana Democrats might want to try to get together somebody to oppose him.
How about it, guys?