The trend numbers of the Mason-Dixon poll appear in today’s Argus-Leader. The only surprise to me is the fact I evidently overlooked earlier erosion of support for Bush in the state.
The results indicate Bush’s favorable name recognition has gone from 58% last August to 54% in November to 47% in February to the most recent 49%. Comparatively, his unfavorable numbers have gone 25%, 27%, 33% and 32%. The February and May numbers are within the poll’s margin of error. Thus, any erosion appears to have stabilized for the time being, which is a bit surprising given the horrid month of April in Iraq. It’s hard to tell what role the Iraq prisoner abuse stories played since the poll was being taken at about the time that story was developing.
None of this means Bush should be worried about carrying South Dakota and its massive 3 electoral votes. As the Argus pointed out, no Democratic presidential candidate has won South Dakota since Lyndon Johnson’s 1964 landslide win over Goldwater. Still, the numbers do seem to reinforce that Bush’s current support is largely the GOP core.