Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has suffered a blow to his popularity since his signing last month of the highly contentious Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
A poll published yesterday by the Howey Politics Indiana website put Pence’s job approval rating at 45 percent, with only 35 percent of respondents having a favorable opinion of him.
These numbers are in stark contrast to two other separate polls taken last October, in which Pence had a job approval ratIng of over 62 percent, The Indianapolis Star points out.
The Howey site notes, “In the 20 years that HPI has been publishing, and in the polling HPI has conducted since 2008, an Indiana governor has never experienced this kind of survey decline in this short time frame.” A poll released earlier in the week by the Human Rights Campaign also found Pence's approval rating had dropped precipitously.
The decline in Pence’s approval rating appears to be a direct response to his signing of the RFRA, a law that many saw as giving Indiana businesses legal cover to discriminate against LGBT people. It has since been amended to allay concerns about discrimination.
When asked for comment on the poll results, Pence’s camp seemed dismissive. “Governor Pence is focused on passing his legislative agenda, creating jobs, the balanced budget amendment, and funding educational excellence,” said Robert Vane, Pence’s spokesperson, in an email statement to the Star. “We will leave the polling punditry to others.”