I spent some today compiling approval ratings on 33 different Governors- pollster.com averages when they were available and the most recent polls I could find when they weren't. Here's what I found on three different points of comparison:
-The average approval on Governors from states with populations below the national median was 51%, while it was 42% for those from bigger states. A couple reasons for that I think- Governors in small states have fewer media markets to deal with and can maintain a higher level of visibility, which leaves voters feeling more connected with them. And although this is a gross oversimplification, small state Governors have less to screw up in difficult times like these.
-The average approval for Republican Governors was 51%, while for Democratic Governors it was 44%. That finding pretty much seems to match the national political trends right now.
-The biggest gap, interestingly, was whether folks were Obama state Governors or McCain state Governors, regardless of the party affiliation of the Governor themselves. McCain state Governors average 54% approval to 41% for Obama state Governors. I noticed a lot of blue state gubernatorial approval ratings start to plummet as soon as Obama took office and I think it's because when Bush was in office Democrats in those state blamed Washington for their problems but now because they like him they're blaming their Governors instead. And the inverse is true for the red state Governors- folks in their state are more inclined to think everything bad is the fault of Washington Democrats.
I looked at numbers in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin, Oregon, Washington, Maine, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, Alabama, Kansas, South Dakota, South Carolina, Arizona, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, and West Virginia for this analysis.