Who’s the Most Unpopular Governor in America?
From Wisconsin to Florida, voters are nursing a bad case of buyer’s remorse concerning the rookie Republican governors they elected in 2010.
Surfing into office on the GOP wave in the midterm elections, these first-term governors have rammed through right-wing agendas in their first months in office—attacking unions, slashing jobless benefits, pushing voter ID bills, and rejecting federal funds for popular infrastructure and transportation projects. In near-record time, voters are souring on these conservatives—and in some cases, clamoring for their recall. This blowback could pave the way for a Democratic resurgence in these states in 2012 and boost President Barack Obama’s reelection chances—for, coincidentally or not, several of these free-falling governors reside in crucial battleground states. If their fortunes continue to plummet, these governors could end up being a serious drag on the Republican presidential nomination.
Florida’s Rick Scott and Ohio’s John Kasich are currently the leading contenders for the title of the most unpopular governor in America, according to a recent Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey. (A mere 32 percent of respondents approve of Scott, while just 33 percent support Kasich. A separate Quinnipiac poll puts Scott’s approval even lower, at 29 percent.) Michigan’s Rick Snyder is struggling with a 33 percent approval rating, and in Wisconsin, 43 percent approve of Scott Walker, PPP found—down 3 points from February and 9 from Election Day 2010. Only 41 percent of respondents gave Iowa’s Terry Branstad a thumb’s up. Even New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a darling of the GOP, has seen his approval plummet in recent weeks, according to a recent PublicMind released by Fairleigh Dickinson University.