- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 28, 2022

Republican governors took the top 11 spots in a job-approval poll released Thursday while Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, brought up the rear.

The Morning Consult survey found that Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker had the highest approval rating of all 50 U.S. governors, followed by Vermont Gov. Phil Scott and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan. All three are moderate Republicans.

Next were Republican Govs. Jim Justice of West Virginia; Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas; Chris Sununu of New Hampshire; Spencer Cox of Utah; Kay Ivey of Alabama; Mark Gordon of Wyoming; Doug Burgum of North Dakota, and Mike DeWine of Ohio.

At the bottom of the heap was Ms. Brown, who was underwater with a 54% disapproval rating versus a 41% approval rating.

“Facing 54% disapproval, Democrat Kate Brown of Oregon is America’s most unpopular governor, followed by Hawaii Democrat David Ige, who’s unpopular with half of the electorate in The Aloha State,” said the Morning Consult analysis.

Ms. Brown came under fire this week for granting clemency to convicted murderer Kyle Hedquist, who was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for the 1994 killing of 19-year-old Nikki Thrasher when he was 17.

Fortunately for Ms. Brown, she’s term-limited and therefore not seeking reelection in November.

The highest-ranked Democratic governor was Kentucky’s Andy Beshear, who came in 11th with a 59% approval rating versus 39% who disapproved of his job performance. He faces reelection in November 2023.

“Not a single Democrat ranked among the 10 most popular governors, but Kentucky’s Andy Beshear came close,” said the analysis.

The good news for the 28 governors facing reelection in the fall is that they all enjoyed favorable job-approval ratings, with one exception: Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers. The poll found 45% of Wisconsin voters approved of the Democrat’s performance in office, while 48% disapproved.

Fully 50% of voters, including 76% of Republicans, gave a thumbs-up to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, who faces a GOP primary challenge from Trump-backed former Sen. David Perdue. Another 41% disapproved of Mr. Kemp’s job performance.

The nation’s newest chief executive, Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin of Virginia, registered a 51% approval rating and 35% disapproval rating.

No GOP governor was underwater with the voters. The lowest-ranked Republican was Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, who had a 47% approval and 45% disapproval rating. He is term-limited and not seeking reelection in November.

The Morning Consult surveys were conducted Jan. 1-March 31 among representative samples of at least 601 registered voters, with unweighted margins of error of +/-1.4 percentage points.

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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