Every Single U.S. Governor Enjoys a Net Positive Approval Rating. There’s a Reason for That

RedState/Jeff Charles

Would you be shocked to find out that every single governor in the United States has a positive approval rating from their constituents? Well, it appears that this is true.

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According to a recent Morning Consult poll, every governor, regardless of political affiliation, enjoys a new positive approval rating from those in their state. This means each official has more constituents approving of their performance than those who disapprove.

At a time when most Americans seem fed up with their governments, these results might appear to be vexing. But I think the reason why this is the case is simpler than it might seem.

Of those in the top ten most popular governors, seven are Republicans, while three are Democrats. So why is this the case?

If one wants to take a Pollyanish view of the situation, they might conclude that most of these governors are highly effective and competent and have earned the trust of their constituents. Perhaps they have broad bipartisan appeal and can relate to the needs of those who disagree with their politics. Maybe all of these officials have fostered transparency and accountability in their administrations.

One could take any of these positions if they wish to miss the point altogether.

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The reason why is simple: Democratic governors tend to run blue states, while Republican governors run red states. They are in their positions because most of the population in these areas agree with their politics. Otherwise, they would not have been voted into office.

The same trend is true when it comes to Congress. While the legislature overall is less popular than a Big Mac at a vegan convention, people’s perceptions of individual lawmakers when it comes to party affiliation are much different:

A narrow majority of Republicans (54%) approve of how their party’s leaders are doing, up from September 2021 when opinion was divided in evaluations of Republican leaders (49% approved, 49% disapproved).

Among Democrats, roughly six-in-ten (61%) say they approve of the job their party’s congressional leaders are doing. This is down from the 67% who said this in fall 2021.

I could not find any recent data analyzing attitudes toward state legislatures, but I did manage to scrounge up some numbers from 2013 looking at this very thing. Want to know what I found? You guessed it:

Fully 71% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents who live in Republican-led states (those with a GOP governor and state legislature) have a favorable opinion of their state government. But just 30% of Republicans living in Democratic-led states view their state governments favorably.

Democrats and Democratic leaners in Democratic-led states express positive views of their state governments (64% favorable). But unlike Republicans, Democrats do not have unfavorable opinions of state governments led by the opposing party. Among Democrats living in Republican-led states, as many have a favorable (50%) as unfavorable (46%) opinion of their state government.

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Sure, even those agreeing with their governor’s overall political ideology might have problems with how they are governing. Being a Texan, I have heard many on the right complain about Gov. Greg Abbott, even if they agree with most of his policies. Much of the criticism has to do with the perception that he does not govern conservatively enough. But even in light of this, none of these people would have dared to vote in noted Hispanic impersonator Beto O’Rourke in 2020.

Attitudes in other states are likely similar, which is why each governor is viewed more favorably by their constituents. In general, people seem to be largely satisfied with those leading their states. It almost makes the case for a weakened (or nonexistent) centralized government and more power to the states, doesn’t it?

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