Americans like Republicans running their states. A new tabulation of state-by-state job approval ratings for all 50 of the nation’s governors finds that the top 15 with the highest approvals are all GOP.
During the White House reign of Barack Obama, American voters made a distinct turn to the GOP at both the federal and state levels. They took over not just both houses of Congress, but also nearly 1,000 seats in state legislatures and dozens of governors’ offices.
The GOP now controls 33 of them and both legislative chambers in 26 of those states. Democrats now hold only 16 governor chairs and Alaska’s Bill Walker is the only independent.
The new tabulation published in the Lunchtime Politics newsletter of Clarus Research Group finds Massachusetts GOP Gov. Charlie Baker and Maryland’s Larry Hogan hold the highest job approval ratings in the country, and both are in usually Democratic states. Baker’s 71/16 approval/disapproval is the best with Hogan’s 68/17 close behind.
The next 13 in order are Alabama’s Kay Ivey (67/17), Vermont’s Phil Scott (65/21), New Hampshire’s Chris Sununu (63/21), South Dakota’s Dennis Daugaard (62/24), Wyoming’s Matt Mead (61/25), Utah’s Gary Herbert (60/23), North Dakota’s Doug Burgum (58/22), and Nevada’s Brian Sandoval (57/22).
Number 11 is Arkansas’ Asa Hutchinson (57/25), then Tennessee’s Bill Haslam (57%/24%), Georgia’s Nathan Deal (56/24), Georgia, Nathan Deal (56/24), Texas’ Greg Abbott (56/26) and Florida’s Rick Scott (55/33), who’s term-limited and seeking a U.S. Senate seat.
The highest ranking Democrats are No. 16 Montana’s Steve Bullock (55/32) and No. 17 Minnesota’s Mark Dayton (53/35).
Smack in the middle at No. 24 is Ohio GOP Gov. John Kasich (51/32), Delaware’s John Carney (50/29) and Louisiana’s John Bel Edwards (50/31), both Democrats.
California’s Jerry Brown is No. 30 (46/40), Virginia Democrat Ralph Northam is No. 32 (44/26), followed by Wisconsin’s Scott Walker at No. 35 (43/50) with fellow Republican Iowa’s Kim Reynolds at No. 36 (42/35).
The bottom 10 in job approval, all way under water, include four Democrats, five Republicans and Alaska’s Walker at No. 47 (29/52). The least-approved governor is Connecticut Democrat Dan Malloy (21/72).