States are dealing with tight budgets that are getting increasingly smaller. As legislatures and governors make tough budget cuts, voters voice their frustration on the most recognizable figure: the governor. In many states, to many voters, state legislators are unknown, and governors are perceived as the most powerful state figures.
We have polled 25 states in the last six months, including job approvals for Obama, governors, and senators. In 13, or 52%, of these states, the governor has the lowest job approval margin of the four figures. In 3, or 12%, of the states, the governors were a close second-to-last. Obama was the least popular in only 3 of the states:
New Hampshire Governor John Lynch, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe, and Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear are shining stars among a group of unpopular Governors. They are not only the most popular in their states, but they are massively popular.
But for most, the numbers are dismal.
Arnold Schwarzenegger faces the most disparaging numbers. Californians disapprove of the Governator, 71:19. His approval ratings have taken an eight-point hit in the last two months. It isn’t going well for the sitting duck who is struggling with a $20 billion deficit and is getting whacked by the gubernatorial candidates. Californians now say they prefer recalled Governor Gray Davis, who they replaced with Schwarzenegger.
It is no surprise that Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm isn’t faring well in the
However, like other states, Granholm and other
As Michigan and other states dealt with consequences of halted unemployment benefits, they waited desperately for the filibuster on unemployment benefits to break. Now Gov. Granholm is crossing her fingers that Congress will recover a Medicaid measure that would give her state $560 million to help provide health care for the poor. The state can’t extend the benefits without Congressional approval, so for now Granholm has her hands tied.
With the Tea Party pushing the Republican Party and Republican candidates further to the right, there are strong signs that Congress could become even more polarized next year. This could mean more logjams and less progress. With less money for states to fuel their budgets in already difficult times, there will be more unpopular governors.