Gov. Nixon's 44 percent SurveyUSA approval rating can be spun several ways. But the following are the two most likely: Supporters can argue that Nixon is victim of the national environment, which is trending against Democrats and that the poll includes too many self-described Republicans. Opponents will say it's a natural decline for a Governor who stumbled through a summer scandal and has yet to ground himself with a significant economic achievement or measurable progress. Nixon's plan to provide a one-time subsidy to encourage home purchases looks popular on its face -- until conservatives raise the claim that discounted real estate is what caused the economic crisis in the first place. After his small business tour around the state, it's clear Nixon is convinced that bolstering existing businesses is the key to growth. As Chad Livengood notes in his Sunday Springfield News-Leader piece, Nixon's team is talking with GOP leadership to flush out options. The Thanksgiving weekend polling can be easily dismissed (It's just one monthly poll -- and Republicans frequently discredited SurveyUSA during Gov. Matt Blunt's term) -- but some Democrats are already nervously e-mailing about Nixon's steady fall from grace. The candid worriers -- who still believe in Nixon -- acknowledge E.Coli-gate wounded their Governor. Now they fear an economic storm without a decisive answer could threaten him politically.