Donald Lambro
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With General Motors eliminating thousands of local jobs, three out of four voters now say Michigan is moving in the wrong direction, MRG's poll found. That sets up the state for a possible GOP pickup, but voters disapprove of the Republican legislature by 51 percent to 40 percent, too.

-- New Jersey: Usually new governors are given a honeymoon by the voters and their polling numbers tend to be above average, but that's not the case with Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine, who took office this year. He has not been able to climb over 50 percent in either of Strategic Vision's last two polls.

The latest showed his approval ratings at 47 percent and his disapproval score at 30 percent. "That's not that great for a governor who has just come into office," Johnson said.

The Democratic legislature is getting worse grades: A whopping 59 percent of New Jersey voters disapprove of the job it's doing and only 31 percent approve.

Of course, Republican governors are in trouble, too. Ohio Gov. Bob Taft, whose administration has been hit by scandal, has seen his approval polls plummet into the 20s. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's once highflying ratings have dropped into the 40s, with 47 percent now saying he should not be re-elected, according to the Field Poll.

Analysts say these plunging numbers out in the states are the result of economic uneasiness that transcends partisanship, but others see a deeper trend at work here.

"One of the things I've been saying for a long time is, we've lost faith in our government. The reason is that politics is not aspirational anymore," Reid said.

"The political process is not interesting to the American people," he went on. "It has become a turnoff to the average voter."

Still, while Republicans, the governing party in Washington, have seen a sharp drop in voter approval, that hasn't translated into increased support for the Democrats.

In his latest poll, John Zogby found that "only 6 percent of Democratic voters felt that Democrats should focus on getting a majority in Congress. Translation: What voters are saying to Democrats is, you don't have anything to say to us anyway."

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Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.