... that a declining economy would lead to lower approval ratings for elected officials. One wonders why journalists blame Mike Bloomberg's fall in the polls on economy, something he can't control), while Paterson's are blamed on his appointment of Kirsten Gillibrand and the state's finance, both of which are at least somewhat under his control.
This is not rocket science; people tend to say they disapprove of their elected officials when times are tough. Under certain circumstances, you can get credit for "making hard choices" but you have to have a lot of credibility with the public on economic matters, and you have to be able to deliver results within a year or so. But at the moment we're still in the crisis stage. Most governor and mayors haven't really put forward coherent plans to deal with the fiscal gap; they're too busy trying to estimate just how large it's going to be. We should expect approval ratings to be in flux until some time this summer, at which point it will be clear which governor's and mayors have convinced the public they have a handle on the situation.