Republicans believe they caught Gov. Jay Nixon in the cross-hairs last week when he announced deals to freeze tuition rates at Missouri's public colleges and universities in exchange for what was billed as a "modest" five percent budget cut. In a 2007 letter to then-Gov. Matt Blunt urging him to veto MOHELA legislation, Nixon called tuition caps contained in the bill "far more fuel for political sound-bytes than actual protection for students and their families." It was certainly a jarring statement to read after seeing Nixon trumpet a freeze on campuses around the state. While the GOP will gladly launch the hypocrisy charge, there wasn't any significant signal that lawmakers would torpedo the agreement -- whether they believe there are dogs and ponies involved or not. Public Policy Polling (PPP) has the Governor at a 42% approval rating, which is lower than previous SurveyUSA polls. Compared to his colleagues in other states, PPP views that as solid footing, but it certainly doesn't merit bragging rights. Odd that more respondents weren't sure of their opinion of Nixon than those who disapprove. An even higher percentage of conservatives (38%) couldn't render a judgement. One number that should jump out to Team Nixon is slumping support in the Ozarks. Just 35 percent in Southwest Missouri approve, but the 38 percent undecided shows that improvement is attainable, even in a gloomy economic environment.