Only six months into their first terms, and a large number of Republican governors are getting low marks from their constituents. We’ve noted the antics of Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, who has nearly destroyed the state in an attempt to get workers’ collective bargaining rights nixed. Then there’s Florida’s Rick Scott, who has been cutting programs left and right that affect women and children while pushing laws that benefit businesses, religious institutions and his own corporate interests. And there’s Michigan’s Rick Synder, who has been shutting down local governments and installing his own people in charge of municipalities instead.
So, who’s the worst governor in the country? It’s so hard to decide!
Via Mother Jones:
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.
There’s a key element to these bad, bad, unlikeable governors that gets lost in the shuffle. In each of these states, the resulting bad policies aren’t entirely the governor’s fault. Ohio, Wisconsin, Florida and Michigan all have dominant Republican Houses and Senates as well, in many cases a veto-proof majority that makes checks and balances unheard of and allows one party to play willy nilly with every policy in the state.
Iowa and New Jersey, although they still have mostly Republican governments, still have Democrats holding slight majorities in the senate, meaning one party isn’t totally unchecked when it comes to setting laws.
Buyers remorse? Wisconsin, Florida and Ohio would all bounce their current governors in a landslide if they had the chance to go back and have a do-over.
Will these governors be able to turn it around in time for a 2016 rematch, or are they happy being one term wonders if it means their entire agenda gets enacted?