Supporting Hawaii's Own

President Obama landed in the Oval Office in a flurry of hope and change, but his approval ratings have been sinking slowly all summer. With controversial bank bailouts and the debate over health care reform, it’s no wonder some believe in change more than others.

While states such as Wyoming, Alaska—Sarah Palin’s home turf—Idaho and Utah sport approval ratings 50 percent or lower, Hawaii continues to show aloha to its own with an approval rating of 75 percent, second only to Washington, D.C. (92 percent), according to Gallup’s January through June poll.

The rating disparity is no mystery; measures of support for the current president align themselves with the political orientation of the state. Gallup classifies each state, ranging from solid Dem states such as Hawaii to solid Rep states such as Wyoming with lean Dem and competitive states in between.  

Among the more than 81,000 telephone surveys conducted so far, President Obama also proved successful in states where he hails from, both here and Illinois, where he was a U.S. senator. He also faired well along the East Coast.

Democrats most unsatisfied with his performance in a blue state were in West Virginia, with a mere 51 percent approval rating. North Dakota gave him the most thumbs up of the states he did not carry during the 2008 presidential election. Colorado—the state in which the 2008 Democratic National Convention was held—gave him the lowest approval ratings for a state he won during the election.

If you were called for a survey on Obama how would you respond? Do you approve of his presidency so far? Would you take the time out to respond? Polls are informative and keep a pulse on the nation’s political and social ideologies, but many people are busy and don’t want to spend an extra ten minutes of time answering questions. Depending on when I was called and how busy I was, I’m not sure I’d respond to the survey, whether I applaud his presidency or I am counting down the days until the next election.