Maureen Hayden, Poll casts shadow over Pence’s reelection announcement, Daily News

In ranking humbling moments for politicians, the night that an Indianapolis Pacers crowd jeered Gov. Mitch Daniels still is right up there.

Daniels had been in office little more than a year when he showed up at Bankers Life Fieldhouse – then Conseco Fieldhouse – to join a ceremony to retire Reggie Miller’s number. The first-term governor ran onto the floor – to a long, loud chorus of boos.

Daniels dismissed the incident, blaming it partly on the fact that the Pacers were down to the Phoenix Suns by 14 points at halftime. (They ended up losing the game, too.)

Daniels was down by double-digits, as well.

His approval rating – which was 55 percent soon after taking office – had dipped to 37 percent. Weighing it down was an aggressive economic agenda that included slashing state spending, leasing the Indiana Toll Road to foreign investors, and shoving most of the state into Eastern Daylight Time.

Even a year later, Daniels’ approval rating was stuck at 40 percent in a poll that showed potential Democratic opponents gaining on him.

Yet, in November 2008, voters returned the Republican governor to office with a hefty margin of 18 points, even as the other party’s presidential candidate, Barack Obama, carried the state.

Loyalists to Republican Gov. Mike Pence are clinging to that story as they face troubling numbers of their own.

A poll by trusted GOP pollster Christine Matthews of Bellwether Research, released last Wednesday on the eve of Pence’s re-election announcement, showed that a majority of voters want a new governor.



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