Governor Dennis Daugaard (R-South Dakota) at Ellsworth AFB.
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kate Thornton
Governor Dennis Daugaard (R-South Dakota) at Ellsworth AFB.U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kate Thornton
Governor Dennis Daugaard (R-South Dakota) at Ellsworth AFB.
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kate Thornton

Morning Consult surveyed 71,900 voters from all 50 states from early May to early September. They were asked if they approved or disapproved of their state’s governor’s performance.

South Dakota boasts the most popular governor. Governor Dennis Daugaard (R-SD) has a 74% approval rating with only 15% who disapprove. Kansas has the least popular governor with Governor Sam Brownback (R-KS) having a dismal 23% approval rating with 71% of Kansans disapproving of his job performance. Fortunately for him he is term limited so he doesn’t have to worry about reelection.

Morning Consult attributed Brownback’s dismal numbers to “a result of an austere budget and tax strategy that has hampered transportation and education in the state.”

So apparently Kansans would rather have a tax and spend Governor? Personally I appreciate a Governor willing to make spending cuts. It may not be popular, but it may be what is needed. At least his social conservative positions and the pro-life bills he has signed are not getting blamed.

Only one half of Iowans approve of the job Governor Terry Branstad (R-IA) with 41% disapproving of the job he is doing. Nine percent of Iowans are unsure. Where Branstad has taken the biggest hit in popularity from the general electorate, in my opinion, is from privatizing Medicaid (correction: I originally also said Medicare, he has only privatized Medicaid). Among conservatives his support of Common Core, increasing state budgets and refusal to defund Planned Parenthood are problem areas for him.  He has not ruled out running for a 7th term in 2018, but I highly doubt that he will.

Here is top 10 most popular governors:

  1. South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard (R) – 74% approval/15% disapproval
  2. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R) – 70% approval/14% disapproval
  3. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (R) – 70% approval/18% disapproval
  4. Montana Governor Steve Bullock (D) – 66% approval/19% disapproval
  5. Utah Governor Gary Herbert (R) – 65% approval/24% disapproval
  6. Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) – 63% approval/23% disapproval
  7. Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam (R) – 63% approval/25% disapproval
  8. Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval (R) – 62% approval/21% disapproval
  9. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) – 62% approval/32% disapproval
  10. Delaware Governor Jack Markell (D) – 61% approval/24% disapproval

Here is their top 10 list for least popular governors. Those on this list should be thankful if they are not up for reelection this year.

  1. Kansas Governor Sam Brownback (R) – 23% approval/71% disapproval
  2. Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy (D) – 26% approval/70% disapproval
  3. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) – 29% approval/68% disapproval
  4. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder (R) – 33% approval/61% disapproval
  5. Maine Governor Paul LePage (R) – 39% approval/58% disapproval
  6. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner (R) – 33% approval/56% disapproval
  7. Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo (D) – 38% approval/55% disapproval
  8. Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) – 35% approval/53% disapproval
  9. Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin (R) – 40% approval/53% disapproval
  10. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) – 43% approval/53% disapproval
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