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Political Intelligence | Q1 2019
Morning Consult's Governor Approval Rankings

On a daily basis, Morning Consult is surveying over 5,000 registered voters across the United States on their governor. Each quarter, we’ll update this page with the latest survey data, providing an in-depth look at how all 50 governors stand with voters in their state.

 

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The 10 Most Popular and Unpopular Governors
The most popular and unpopular governors are respectively determined by total approval and total disapproval, with net approval (approval minus disapproval) serving as the tiebreaker.
1
Charlie
Baker
(R - MA)
 73%  14%
2
Larry
Hogan
(R - MD)
 71%  14%
3
Chris
Sununu
(R - NH)
 64%  23%
4
Kay
Ivey
(R - AL)
 63%  19%
5
Phil
Scott
(R - VT)
 59%  28%
6
Asa
Hutchinson
(R - AR)
 57%  23%
6
Henry
McMaster
(R - SC)
 57%  23%
6
Greg
Abbott
(R - TX)
 57%  23%
9
Doug
Burgum
(R - ND)
 55%  21%
10
Bill
Lee
(R - TN)
 54%  14%

Governor Lookup

Search for a governor to view how their approval has shifted over time, as well as their net approval with each party’s voters. Historical data extends back as far as Morning Consult has tracked for each governor, and is not displayed for those governors in their first term.

Each governor is assigned a rank to contextualize their approval. The rank is determined by total approval, with net approval serving as a tie-breaker.

Net approval:
All voters
Democrats
Republicans
Independents
Rank
Approval over time:
Approval Disapproval
This is the first quarter of their first term. Check back next quarter for trend data.

Sortable Table

Use the tabs to filter different groupings, and use the dropdown to sort the list.

Favorable
Never Heard Of
Unfavorable
  • Charlie Baker (R-MA)
    73% 14% 14%
  • Larry Hogan (R-MD)
    71% 15% 14%
  • Chris Sununu (R-NH)
    64% 13% 23%
  • Kay Ivey (R-AL)
    63% 18% 19%
  • Phil Scott (R-VT)
    59% 13% 28%
  • Asa Hutchinson (R-AR)
    57% 19% 23%
  • Greg Abbott (R-TX)
    57% 20% 23%
  • Henry McMaster (R-SC)
    57% 21% 23%
  • Doug Burgum (R-ND)
    55% 24% 21%
  • Bill Lee (R-TN)
    54% 33% 14%
  • Ron DeSantis (R-FL)
    54% 27% 20%
  • John Carney (D-DE)
    54% 18% 28%
  • Steve Bullock (D-MT)
    54% 18% 28%
  • Pete Ricketts (R-NE)
    54% 15% 32%
  • Mark Gordon (R-WY)
    53% 37% 10%
  • Tom Wolf (D-PA)
    53% 15% 32%
  • Brad Little (R-ID)
    52% 32% 16%
  • Phil Bryant (R-MS)
    52% 23% 25%
  • Gary Herbert (R-UT)
    52% 21% 27%
  • Doug Ducey (R-AZ)
    50% 21% 30%
  • Janet Mills (D-ME)
    50% 20% 30%
  • Jim Justice (R-WV)
    50% 14% 36%
  • Eric Holcomb (R-IN)
    49% 29% 22%
  • Roy Cooper III (D-NC)
    49% 23% 28%
  • Kristi Noem (R-SD)
    49% 19% 32%
  • Andrew Cuomo (D-NY)
    49% 12% 40%
  • Brian Kemp (R-GA)
    48% 29% 23%
  • Jay Inslee (D-WA)
    47% 22% 32%
  • John Bel Edwards (D-LA)
    47% 21% 32%
  • David Ige (D-HI)
    47% 17% 36%
  • Tony Evers (D-WI)
    46% 27% 26%
  • Tim Walz (D-MN)
    45% 32% 24%
  • Phil Murphy (D-NJ)
    45% 19% 36%
  • Kevin Stitt (R-OK)
    44% 38% 18%
  • Mike Parson (R-MO)
    44% 38% 18%
  • Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI)
    44% 32% 24%
  • Jared Polis (D-CO)
    44% 31% 26%
  • Mike DeWine (R-OH)
    44% 30% 26%
  • Kim Reynolds (R-IA)
    44% 19% 37%
  • Laura Kelly (D-KS)
    43% 37% 20%
  • Steve Sisolak (D-NV)
    43% 34% 24%
  • Mike Dunleavy (R-AK)
    42% 29% 29%
  • Gavin Newsom (D-CA)
    41% 30% 29%
  • Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM)
    41% 27% 33%
  • Kate Brown (D-OR)
    41% 15% 44%
  • JB Pritzker (D-IL)
    40% 31% 29%
  • Ralph Northam (D-VA)
    40% 24% 36%
  • Gina Raimondo (D-RI)
    40% 10% 50%
  • Ned Lamont (D-CT)
    33% 29% 38%
  • Matt Bevin (R-KY)
    33% 16% 52%
See all
Insights
A deeper look at some of the trends behind the data.

Note: This section may contain more recent data than what is incorporated in the latest quarterly rankings.
Posted: 04/25/2019
Blackface Scandal Hurt, but Didn't Sink Northam

After Virginia Democrat Ralph Northam made national news for having worn blackface in medical school, his approval plummeted and top Democrats called for resignation. For a moment, his political career appeared over.

 

Northam did not resign, and while the story hurt him – he is the 7th most unpopular governor – more Virginians currently approve of him than disapprove.

 

The scandal, which broke in late January, caused a large initial drop-off in support that has subsequently ticked back up.

Net Approval:
January 2019 +22
February 2019 -6
March 2019 -2
April 2019 +4

The April data is drawn from 2,896 interviews with registered voters in Virginia between April 1 – 23, and is not incorporated into Northam’s Q1 2019 approval.  Among Democrats, 64 percent approve of Northam and 18 percent disapprove in April.

Posted: 04/25/2019
Moderate Northeastern Republicans Post Strong Approval Ratings With Democrats

In an era where negative partisanship is the norm, a handful of Republican governors boast notably strong approval ratings with Democrats in their state.

Net Approval Among Democrats:
Charlie Baker +64
Larry Hogan +48
Phil Scott +43
Chris Sununu +10

To put Charlie Baker’s numbers in context, his net approval among Massachusetts Democrats is just two points lower than Sen. Elizabeth Warren (+66), and three points higher than Sen. Ed Markey (+61) – both of whom are Democrats.

 

On the whole, Democratic voters are less hostile toward Republican governors than vice versa. Republican governors have an average approval rating of -5 among Democratic voters. Democratic governors have an average approval rating of -30 among Republican voters.

Posted: 04/25/2019
After Contentious Campaign, Ron DeSantis Is Off to a Hot Start

During Florida’s high-stakes gubernatorial election, Republican Ron DeSantis regularly positioned himself as a champion of Trump’s combative political approach. But since taking office, DeSantis has managed to quickly make inroads at building a broader base of support.

 

DeSantis is the 11th most popular governor overall, and more popular with Democrats and independents than the average Republican governor.

Net Approval:
all fl voters +34
fl democrats -1
fl republicans +75
fl independents +29

Just 20 percent of Florida voters overall disapprove of DeSantis’s job performance thus far.

Posted: 04/25/2019
On Average, Republican Governors Are More Popular Than Their Democratic Counterparts

 

All 10 of the most popular governors in America are Republican, and the average Republican governor has a net approval that is 14 points higher than the average Democrat.

Average Net Approval Among All Voters:
Democratic Governors +14
Republican Governors +28

This trend is not just driven by stronger loyalty in the GOP ranks. Independent voters also tend to rate Republican governors higher. Republican governors have an average net approval of +20 among independent voters, compared to +8 for Democratic governors.

Posted: 04/25/2019
Matt Bevin Is Struggling With Both Democrats and Republicans

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin’s low approval rating is driven primarily by Democrats and independents, but he fares relatively poorly with his own party as well.

 

His net approval of +14 among Republican voters is lower than any other Republican governor in the country, except for Vermont’s Phil Scott, who stands at +12.

Net Approval:
ALL KY VOTERS -19
KY DEMOCRATS -58
KY REPUBLICANS +14
KY INDEPENDENTS -21

Bevin, who is up for re-election this cycle, has seen his net approval drop by 30 points since Morning Consult began tracking in early 2017.

Methodology

About Morning Consult Political Intelligence

On a daily basis, Morning Consult surveys over 5,000 registered voters across the United States. Along with approval ratings for governors, Political Intelligence tracks the 2020 election as well as the approval ratings for all senators, and House members, the President, and more at the national, state and congressional district level. Each week, we will release a report with the most important findings on the 2020 election. Sign-up to receive that report in your inbox here.

Results from the most recent update

Morning Consult conducted 472,802 surveys with registered U.S. voters from January 1 through March 31, 2019 to determine the Q1 2019 Governor Rankings.

The margins of error vary by state and party. You can see the margin of error for each governor here.

In each poll, Americans indicated whether they approve or disapprove of the job performance of their governor. For each question, they could answer strongly approve, somewhat approve, somewhat disapprove, strongly disapprove, or don’t know / no opinion.

Morning Consult obtained population parameters for registered voters from the November 2012 Current Population Survey. We applied post-stratification weights based on gender, age, educational attainment and race.

How are governors determined to be vulnerable?

Governors marked as vulnerable are up for reelection in 2019 or 2020 and occupy a seat that is not considered safe by at least one of the following outlets: Cook Political Report, Inside Elections, or Sabato Crystal Ball.