A Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research poll released on April 13, 2015, finds that Indiana Republican Governor Mike Pence’s popularity has taken a nosedive since he signed a right to discriminate “religious freedom” bill into law. Although the Governor backtracked slightly in the face of opposition to the law, his decision to support religious-based bigotry in the first place, has not been forgotten by Indiana voters.
The poll finds that only 43 percent of Indiana voters now believe the Governor is doing a “good” or “excellent” job. This contrasts sharply with the 62 percent of Indianans who approved of the Governor’s job performance in February 2015, according to an Indiana Association of Realtors poll. While the two polls were not done by the same polling firm, the dramatic disparity in the results suggests a pronounced drop in support for the Governor.
When Indiana voters were asked a more direct question about whether or not they had a favorable or unfavorable impression of Governor Pence for signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law, the results were even harsher. By a 53-38 percent margin, voters said Pence’s decision gave them an unfavorable impression of the Governor.
By a 2 to 1 ratio, Indianans disagree with right to discriminate legislation. 62 percent of Indiana voters do not think businesses should be allowed to refuse service to someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, even if it “violates” the owner’s religious beliefs. Just 31 percent feel the owner should have the right to discriminate based on his or her religious beliefs.
The survey also found that in a rematch between Republican Governor Mike Pence, and his 2012 Democratic challenger, John Gregg, the hypothetical race is tied at 47-47. Pence’s decision to stand loudly and proudly on the side of anti-gay bigotry may have impressed right-wing Christian conservatives, but it may very well cost him his job if he runs for re-election.
Governor Pence’s plunging popularity should serve as a warning to red state governors around the country that while bigotry may help them curry favor with right-wing evangelical voters, it’s becoming a sure fire loser with the general public. Republican politicians haven’t seemed to grasp the political consequences of standing on the wrong side of history just yet. However, if voters who show up at the polls say the same thing as the voters who are answering the polls, the GOP should get the message on election night.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.